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Crime News Breaking News

Texas Mom Arrested After Evidence Shows Toddler Could Not Have Shot Herself

Jessica Cantu has been charged with child endangerment for the shooting death of her 2-year-old daughter, Julez Gonzalez, after investigators determined that the little girl couldn't have shot herself. 

By Gina Tron
A police handout of Jessica Cantu

A Texas mother has been arrested for the February shooting of her toddler after investigators determined that the child couldn’t have shot herself as her mother had claimed.

Jessica Cantu, 35, was booked on Friday and charged with child endangerment for the Feb. 18 shooting of her 2-year-old daughter, Julez Gonzalez, KSAT reports.

Cantu had told police that she was in the bathroom of the family’s home while Gonzalez was laying on a bed watching a movie. She said she heard a pop and ran in to find her daughter with a gunshot wound to the head. Cantu brought the child to a hospital where she was originally listed in critical condition.

The girl died on Feb. 27.

The Bexar County Medical Examiner's office concluded that Julez "could not have shot herself due to the gunshot being from a distance and not close proximity” according to an arrest report obtained by News4SA.

The child's death has been ruled a homicide due to complications from a gunshot wound.

Cantu had told investigators that the gun belonged to her boyfriend, 32-year-old Joshua Ramirez, according to an affidavit obtained by KSAT. She claimed she was unaware of the gun’s presence in the home.

Investigators allege, however, that she actually bought the gun and that she was aware that her boyfriend carried it. 

The affidavit alleges that she “intentionally and knowingly placed the victim in imminent danger by allowing her to be in the presence of a handgun in possession of a felon with a violent criminal history.”

Ramirez was arrested in March and charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to court records. He was allegedly packing a duffel bag on the bed that the child was on when she was shot. Cantu allegedly told investigators that he was planning on selling drugs at a motel that night.

He has denied possessing the firearm, according to the court records.

Cantu was charged with possession and unauthorized use of a vehicle earlier this year. Her bond has been set at  $150,000. It’s not clear if either she or her boyfriend have lawyers.