Child shot in face sustained ‘self-inflicted’ wound; father charged

By: By Chris Berendt -

Sheriff’s investigators have determined that a child shot in the face Thursday night was the victim of an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The 10-year-old boy was in the care of his stepfather, Jeffrey Lee Newton Jr., 31, who allowed him to have access to a firearm, Sampson County Sheriff’s authorities said.

Newton, of 60 Maddie Lane, Harrells, was charged with permitting a child to have access/use of a firearm and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. He was placed in the Sampson County Detention Center under a $5,000 bond. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be filed.

The child was in stable condition upon last report from UNC Hospitals.

Sheriff’s officials on Thursday night said investigators were attempting to identify the crime scene and locate any potential witnesses after responding to a call around 7 p.m. that a 10-year-old boy had been shot in the face. Units were dispatched to 60 Maddie Lane, Harrells.

Before emergency personnel could arrive on the scene, a relative placed the child in a vehicle and proceeded toward Clinton in an attempt to transport him to the hospital, sheriff’s authorities said. A responding deputy intercepted the vehicle carrying the child and started rendering first aid until Sampson County EMS personnel arrived on the scene.

According to reports, deputies assisted EMS in transporting the child to an emergency landing zone, where he was airlifted to a regional trauma center.

Deputies were initially told the child and his father were walking down Belvin-Maynard Road when the father heard a gunshot and saw his son fall. He carried the child back to their residence and called for help before attempting to take him to the hospital.

By Chris Berendt