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Boy’s accidental death from AR-15 leads to father’s arrest in Lake County

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In late August, 12-year-old Jeremyah Wyatt reached for a loaded AR-15 left under a bed in his Lady Lake home and died of a gunshot to the head.

Now Jeremyah’s father faces a charge of aggravated manslaughter involving a child.

Lake County Sheriff’s Office investigators say a corporal had counseled 31-year-old Christopher Wyatt last October regarding the proper storage of firearms around children.

Nevertheless, they say, he left the rifle, which had no safety, under the bed in his master bedroom. It had a live round in the chamber.

On the morning of August 31st, Jeremyah’s sisters, ages 7 and 10, were sleeping there. And he was sleeping on the floor near the loaded gun.

Sgt. Fred Jones said it was culpable negligence, given the previous warning, that led Wyatt’s arrest.

It was the nature, or rather the degree, of negligence on the father’s part that he was charged with this,” Jones said.

Wyatt was arrested Monday evening and released on a $100,000 bond.

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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.