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Judge sets bail at $15K for man whose 7-year-old found gun and shot himself in the leg

By DOUG ALDEN
New Hampshire Union Leader

August 21. 2018 10:07AM
Miguel Roman arrives Monday for his arraignment at Hillsborough County Superior Court for charges related to his son, who suffered a gunshot wound at their Manchester apartment on Thursday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)



MANCHESTER — A judge set bail at $15,000 cash or surety Monday for a city man whose 7-year-old son shot himself in the leg with a gun he found in his parents’ room.

Miguel Roman Jr., 30, who is charged with reckless conduct, endangering the welfare of a child and falsifying physical evidence, appeared in Hillsborough County Superior Court-North on Monday afternoon. It was his first court appearance since he and the boy’s mother were arrested Friday after police were called to Elliot Hospital the previous night for a boy who was being treated for a gunshot wound.

Jennifer Puglisi, the boy’s mother, is also charged with reckless conduct and endangering the welfare of a child. She waived her appearance Monday after posting bail of $7,500 cash or surety.

Assistant County Attorney Nicole Schultz-Price told Judge Gillian Abramson that the parents stored a .22 caliber handgun in a plastic bin on a shelf, where the 7-year-old boy found it and shot himself in the leg Thursday night.

“It was easily accessible by the 7-year-old child as well as the other two children (4 and 8) who were in the home,” Schultz-Price said during a brief hearing Monday afternoon.

The three children were home in the family’s apartment with Puglisi, who didn’t notice the middle child get the gun from the bedroom and take it to a communal bathroom, where he was shot, Schultz-Price said.

She recommended Roman’s bail remain at $15,000 cash or surety, the amount he was held on through the weekend.

Paul Borchardt, a public defender who represented Roman during the hearing, asked Abramson to consider a much lower amount, saying Roman only had about $200 cash and that there would be no danger of a similar incident because bail conditions would prohibit Roman from possessing firearms.

Abramson took the matter under advisement and issued her decision later in the day, granting the prosecution’s request to keep Roman’s bail at $15,000.

The two counts of falsifying evidence filed against Roman resulted from him allegedly removing the gun from the apartment and attempting to throw away the spent shell casing, Schultz-Price said.

“It also should be noted that the handgun was found in the defendant’s car, which he admitted to putting there when he arrived home,” Schultz-Price said.

Borchardt disputed that Roman attempted to hide anything from police, saying he was forthcoming with the first officer he saw at the hospital.

Schultz-Price noted that the parents waited more than an hour before taking the child to the hospital after Puglisi attempted to treat the wound herself.

Schultz-Price said the wounded boy and the couple’s two other children were placed in the custody of the Division for Children, Youth and Families.

dalden@unionleader.com


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