By Steve Tawa


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A North Philadelphia mother and her boyfriend have been ordered held for trial, although a judge has dismissed a third-degree murder charge against the woman, after her young daughter fatally shot herself in late June. 

Courtroom observers viewed body-cam footage of one police officer inside the home in the minutes after 4-year-old Sani Holmes rummaged through her mother’s bedroom closet, pulling the weapon out of a book bag stashed behind clothes. While playing with her younger sister, she died of a single gunshot wound to the head.

They also watched a videotaped portion of investigators talking to 25-year-old Shakeya Holmes inside a Homicide Interview Room, during which she cries, telling investigators her kids “routinely played in the closet, where the gun was stored.”

She also told them immediately after the shooting that she called 911, and ran out screaming for help. She also told investigators that she “should have turned the gun in or thrown it away.”

Prosecutor Kristen Kemp says Holmes repeatedly lied to responding officers about what happened, first telling them someone had fired from the outside. Then, she says Holmes lied to investigators about how her boyfriend found the gun, because there was an outstanding warrant out for Demetrius Williams. She says she “didn’t want to be a rat,” and she was worried about how others would look at her.

While Municipal Court Judge Patrick Dugan dropped the third-degree murder charge prosecutors sought against Holmes, she will face involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment, and weapons charges. Williams will face involuntary manslaughter and related charges.

She’s held on $250,000 bail. He’s held on $1-million bail.