NEWARK, N.J. — A woman whose 5-year-old son fatally shot his 4-year-old brother with her gun faces up to three years in prison after pleading guilty to child endangerment.

Itiyanah Spruill is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 28.

The 22-year-old Spruill was initially charged with child endangerment and possession of a gun without a valid permit. She has been held on $310,000 bail since her arrest in late June.

The shooting occurred June 25 at the family’s home in East Orange. Authorities have said the gun belonged to Spruill but haven’t said how it came to be in the older boy’s possession.

At the boy’s funeral last month, friends and relatives spoke of his fascination with superheroes and remembered him dressing up as Captain America for Halloween. They said he spoke of wanting to be a doctor when he grew up.

Spruill pleaded guilty Aug. 17 to two counts of child endangerment, a second-degree crime, but will be sentenced as a third-degree offender as part of her plea deal, according to the Essex County prosecutor’s office.

The state will recommend a three-year sentence, but Spruill likely will serve less time because of sentencing guidelines and time she’s already served, the prosecutor’s office said.


This story has been corrected to show she was initially charged with possession of a gun without a valid permit, not with a valid permit.