Hearing set for man charged in toddler’s death

Local News

A 33-year-old Welcome man charged in the accidental fatal shooting of 2-year-old boy will make his first court appearance on Nov. 7 in Martin County District Court.

Colton Dean Mammenga faces two felony counts of second-degree manslaughter, one felony count of child endangerment and a gross misdemeanor charge of negligent storage of a firearm.

On Oct. 15 around 10:15 a.m., Martin County deputies responded to a report of shooting that occurred in the back seat of a vehicle near Welcome and that the vehicle was headed toward Fairmont.

The complaint says a deputy was able to intercept the pickup truck outside of Fairmont and a man, identified as Mammenga, got out of the vehicle with a toddler in his arms and started administering CPR on the child.

The 2-year-old boy was taken to a hospital, say court documents, but died two days later from a head wound.

The children’s mother and Mammenga told investigators they put the boys in the back seat and went back into the house to get some final items and coffee.

According to a criminal complaint, the child’s mother says she buckled both boys in and did not see the gun,

After departing she heard a loud “boom” as she was driving on Highway 263 and pulled the truck over, says the complaint.

Mammenga admitted that he left his gun in the pocket of the passenger’s door before getting the coffee, which the child’s mother says was typical for Mammenga when he traveled.

Mammenga estimates he and the mother were away from the children no more than three to five minutes, says the criminal complaint.

The 4-year-old told a deputy that he got Mammenga’s gun when he went into the house and accidentally shot his brother.

A deputy confiscated the gun, which was fully loaded and had a round in the chamber.

While searching the vehicle investigators found a baggie full of 9mm round sitting next to the 4-year-old’s car seat and loose 9mm rounds strewn about. A pistol holder was also next to the child’s seat.

Mammenga faces up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to to $20,000 for manslaughter; five years and a $10,000 fine for child endangerment; and 364 days and a $3,000 fine for negligent gun storage.

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