'Deeply, sincerely sorry:' Mom charged in 9-year-old daughter’s shooting death sentenced to 2 years

MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee mother charged in connection to her daughter's death was sentenced to two years in prison on Friday, June 28. The grieving mother apologized in court.

The tragic accident happened in March of last year. Police say a 9-year-old was killed after being accidentally shot by her minor brother. More than a year later, their mother Talisha Lee explained in court she still thinks about it every day.

Talisha Lee sentenced

Miyanna Jelks

"From the bottom of my heart, I am deeply and sincerely sorry," said Lee.

Thirty-year-old Lee was emotional in court on Friday as she awaited her sentence. The mother pleaded guilty in February, charged in connection with the death of her 9-year-old daughter Miyanna Jelks.

"I hope by listening to my grieving heart that you can give me a second chance and go light on my sentence," said Lee.

The shooting happened in March 2018. According to a criminal complaint, Lee and Marcel Jelks left their children home alone. Jelks is Miyanna's father, and he also faces charges in the case.

The complaint says Miyanna was spinning around a room when her brother began waving a gun around. He pulled the trigger and fatally shot Miyanna.

A memorial for Miyanna Jelks

"It was certainly preventable, had you taken the necessary steps to secure that weapon," said Jeffrey Wagner, Milwaukee County Judge.

In court Friday, Lee said she bought the gun for protection a day before the incident -- but she didn't make it clear who handled the gun.

"Did the children put the bullets in the gun?" asked Wagner. "No."

The complaint says neither Lee or Jelks used the gun lock to secure it.

Marcel Jelks and Talisha Lee

"There was a significant amount of criminal carelessness," said Wagner.

A judge sentenced Lee to two years in prison with four years of extended supervision. Marcel Jelks pleaded not guilty to multiple charges in connection with the death of his daughter. He'll be in court on July 22 for a jury trial.