Visalia man held to answer on murder charges after 2-year-old son shoots self in head

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- The South Valley man charged with murder after his 2-year-old son accidentally shot himself in the head was held to answer on murder and child abuse charges on Thursday.

It means the case can move forward towards trial.

The incident happened outside a Visalia home on September 5.

RELATED: Visalia father charged with murder after 2-year-old son is shot, killed

During the preliminary hearing, a Visalia Police detective testified about his interview with William Stallworth on the night of the shooting.

Stallworth told the detective that he was talking to a man named Paco outside a parked car while his two-year-old son William Stallworth Jr. played in the front seat of the car.

Stallworth said he looked away briefly, heard a pop, and saw that his son had shot himself with a gun that was in the car's center console.

"For the DA to charge second degree murder in this case is really in our opinion a rush to judgment," said Stallworth's defense attorney Caree Harper. "This is just a very tragic situation and we think that that shouldn't be the case."

Stallworth faces a life sentence if convicted.

He remains in jail on $500,000.
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