Dad pleads guilty in shooting death of 4-year-old son

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Rayvon A. Messer Sr. in a photo from WAVY

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A man pleaded guilty in Norfolk Circuit Court this week to charges related to the 2017 death of his 4-year-old son.

In April 2017, police and paramedics were called to the home of Rayvon A. Messer Sr. for a report of child shot.

The child, Rayvon Messer Jr. , sustained life-threatening injuries from a gunshot wound and was taken to a local hospital where he later died.

Police arrested Messer the next morning and he was charged with second-degree murder — but court records show the charge was changed to felony homicide.

Messer’s brother says the child found the father’s registered pistol beneath a pillow on the couch and the incident was a “complete accident.”

Messer pleaded guilty Thursday to felony homicide and child abuse/neglect and could serve a maximum of 10 years in prison.

A sentencing hearing for the convictions is scheduled for Oct. 18.

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