NJ mom whose young son shot little brother will be allowed to attend funeral
EAST ORANGE — The mother of a 4-year-old who was accidentally shot by his 5-year-old brother in their home last week will be able to attend his funeral Friday.
Itiyanah Spruill tearfully pled not guilty on Tuesday in Superior Court to weapons and child endangerment charges. She asked the judge permission to attend the funeral of her son Christopher Lassiter, but Essex County Assistant Prosecutor Jamel Semper initially opposed the request.
Prosecutors were given until Thursday to explain their objection to the judge.
On Wednesday, however, Semper dropped his objection. Essex County Prosecutor's Office spokeswoman Katherine Carter did not know Semper's specific objections.
Carter said the 22-year-old mother would be allowed to go to the funeral home on Friday morning and be with Christopher privately before the funeral.
Spruill was arrested on Saturday night in connection with the shooting of Christopher by his 6-year-old brother. Police said the gun belonged to Spruill have not said how her older son got the weapon.
A GoFundMe page created by the boys' aunt to help fund a funeral was closed Wednesday. The New Hope Baptist Church of East Orange told News 12 New Jersey it would fully pay for the funeral, according to News 12 New Jersey.
"Thank you all for your donations. I would like to thank everyone for the support. The kind words and prayers don't stop here please continue to pray for the family," Mika Shirele Richardson wrote. "Rest in Peace our Captain America."
Spruill is being held at the Essex County House of Corrections pending $310,000 bail.
Spruill was arrested in Newark in 2014 on illegal gun charges but was never indicted or convicted, according to court records obtained by New Jersey 101.5.
Spruill also was arrested last month in East Orange on prostitution charges.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com