Grandma arraigned in teen's shooting death

James David Dickson, Holly Fournier, and Candice Williams
The Detroit News

A Detroit grandmother was arraigned Wednesday on charges that she was "grossly negligent"  for leaving her gun where a grandson could grab it and allegedly fatally shoot another teen in her home.

Lise Cox, 58, who was given a $7,500 bond during an arraignment in 36th District Court, faces charges of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of second-degree child abuse for her alleged role in the death Emarjae Watkins, 13.

The involuntary manslaughter charge alleges that Cox was "grossly negligent" when she stored a handgun under her bedroom dresser and left for work around 8:45 a.m. Monday, leaving two grandsons, aged 13 and 15, home alone on the 4300 block of Tireman. The teens were off school for a snow day.

Cox returns to court for a probable cause conference on Dec. 22 and a preliminary exam Dec. 28.

It is alleged that Cox knew that her grandsons were aware of where she stored her handgun and ammunition, according to prosecutors.

The two child abuse charges are connected to each grandson, and accuse the woman of "knowingly committing an act likely to cause serious physical harm" to the teens.

Also charged is the 13-year-old grandson, who allegedly shot Emarjae  in the back while playing with Cox's firearm. The two grandsons allegedly invited Emarjae and another teen over to play games Monday afternoon.

"At approximately 1 p.m. (Monday), Emarjae and another boy came over to Ms. Cox’s house," officials said in a statement. "It is alleged that while her 13-year-old grandson was playing with the gun, it discharged, fatally striking Emarjae in the back. Emarjae was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounce dead on arrival."

The alleged shooter is due in the juvenile court's Lincoln Hall of Justice on Friday for a hearing on charges of manslaughter, causing death by aiming a weapon without malice; felony firearm; and careless discharge of a weapon, causing injury or death.

The teen, who was not identified by authorities, appeared Tuesday before Referee Leslie Graves, who set bond at $7,500, 10 percent.