URBANA — An Urbana woman who allegedly took a picture of her toddler daughter holding a semi-automatic pistol has been criminally charged with unlawful use of weapons and causing a child to be endangered.
Cortny J. Thompson, 20, who listed an address in the 800 block of Peach Tree Street, was arrested Tuesday at her home by Champaign County sheriff's deputies.
Lt. Ed Ogle said Thompson's ex-boyfriend had gone to the Rantoul police department on Tuesday to report that Thompson had sent him a "disturbing" text photo of their 2-year-old daughter holding a pistol in her hand.
After looking at the texted photo, deputies went to Thompson's home, where she admitted putting the gun in front of their daughter, who picked it up as Thompson was taking the photo. She told deputies she sent it to the ex-boyfriend so he would feel sorry for them and take them back.
Ogle said the gun apparently belonged to another man with whom Thompson is now living. He said he had removed the gun from the home when he learned that Thompson, convicted in 2009 of felony theft, is not allowed to have weapons.
Ogle said he was not certain when the photo had been taken but that it was apparently sent to the ex-boyfriend on Tuesday.
Ogle said the child was placed with a relative and the Department of Children and Family Services notified.
Assistant State's Attorney Scott Bennett said Thompson told the deputies she was not sure if the gun was loaded because she admitted not knowing much about guns.
But Bennett said the man with whom she is now living told deputies that while he does not keep ammunition in his guns, he does keep the magazines for them loaded.
"In the picture, the magazine is in the gun when the picture was taken," Bennett said.
On Wednesday, Judge Richard Klaus set Thompson’s bond at $25,000 and told her to be back in court April 9.
The weapons charge is a felony while the endangering a child charge is a misdemeanor.