A Key West mother involved in a March 24 domestic scrap that led to a gunshot being fired in front of her 11-month-old son is now facing child abuse allegations along with her boyfriend, who was arrested the night of the incident.
Jennifer Howe was shot in the left hand while she and the baby's father, Charles Donney, struggled for a .38-caliber revolver she reportedly raised at him, according to a police report released this week.
While Donney, 36, went to jail on a count of felony child abuse that same night, Howe required an airlift to a Miami hospital after receiving treatment at Lower Keys Medical Center for her hand.
Howe, 32, was arrested April 26, after police obtained a warrant signed by Judge Peary Fowler with a bond of $25,000, the report said.
Both parents are now charged with endangering their baby, who was strapped into a highchair in the living room -- and in the "direct line of sight" when the gun was fired, police reported.
"Donney and Howe both engaged in reckless behavior which could have resulted in physical or mental harm to the 11-month-old child," Officer Matthew Haley wrote in the supplemental report.
The couple's son, who turned 1 on April 30, remains in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families, police said.
Haley's latest three-page report describes in graphic detail the couple's argument that preceded the gunshot at 1515 Florida St. The report states that Donney had four video clips in his cellphone of his girlfriend lying passed out on her bedroom floor.
Police arrived about 8 p.m. that Sunday night, March 24, to find Donney outside the Midtown house and a topless Howe at a window inside saying she had been shot, the report said.
The report also concludes that the .38-caliber gunshot was fired in Howe's bedroom, citing powder burns on her mattress.
"The distance from where the child was located to where the firearm was discharged was approximately 20 feet or closer depending on the inconsistent statements provided by Howe and Donney of the exact location of where the child was in relation to the discharge of a firearm."
Earlier that day, the family had attended the free air show at the Naval Air Station Key West.
"They were engaged in drinking and using narcotics while watching the air show," the report said. "The child was with them during this time."
The couple began arguing on the way home, police reported, and Donney said he made Howe pull over at one point because she was driving "erratically."
"Donney left his child in the care of Howe even though he was concerned for his own safety when he was riding in the car with her," Haley wrote.
Donney said he arrived home to find Howe passed out on the floor by the front door with the child sitting next to her, and that he woke her up and she went into her room.
Donney told officers at the scene that night he videotaped Howe "for custody issues later on that may occur," the report said.
Police, however, described the videos as Donney goading Howe into a fight.
"You can hear Donney antagonizing Howe in the video wanting to talk about their relationship," Haley wrote. "In the video you could see that Howe just wanted to go to sleep. In the video, you can hear Donney say something like, 'Look at Mommy. Here is Mommy,' and you can hear baby chatter of a child."
Donney told police that Howe punched him in the stomach and pushed him out of her room, shutting the door, and that he was in the living room with his boy when she emerged from the bedroom holding the revolver, which she raised at him, the report said.
But Donney had also said that night the gunshot went off in Howe's bedroom.
Physical evidence, including tests for gunshot residue, show that Howe fired the weapon while on her bed mattress, the report said.
"Howe had powder burns on the inside palm of her left hand," Haley wrote. The gun was found beneath a dresser in the bedroom, "approximately five feet away from the location where it was discharged."
At the Stock Island hospital, Howe said she had "probably shot" herself, but changed her story a number of times, the latest police report said.
"She shot herself, Donney shot her, she doesn't know how she was shot and Donney helped her load the weapon," Haley listed in the report released Tuesday.