PHILADELPHIA — A judge has dropped a third-degree murder charge against a woman whose four-year-old daughter died of a shot from a gun police said the child found in the closet of their north Philadelphia home.

The Common Pleas judge on Wednesday ordered 26-year-old Shakeya Homes to stand trial on the remaining charges, including involuntary manslaughter, hindering apprehension and firearms offenses. Her boyfriend, Demetrius Williams, has also been ordered to trial on involuntary manslaughter and related counts.

Police said 4-year-old Sani found a handgun on a closet shelf in Holmes’ bedroom. Prosecutors said at the preliminary hearing that Holmes repeatedly changed her story about what happened and lied to police about the provenance of the gun. Defense attorneys said she was hysterical and panicking. They call the shooting a tragic accident.


Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.inquirer.com