Marysville officer pleads not guilty in daughter's shooting death

EVERETT, Wash. -- A Marysville police officer was in Snohomish County court on Tuesday, where he pleaded not guilty to manslaughter in connection with his daughter's death.

{A href=""}Derek Carlile, 31, was off-duty and headed to a wedding with his wife and children on March 10 when they stopped at an art studio in Stanwood. Carlile and his wife left the children in the family van while they dropped off business cards. Court documents show a personal handgun was also in the van.

One of the children picked up the gun and fired it, killing 7-year-old Jenna Carlile.

In court, tears welled up in Carlile's eyes as his attorney spelled out just how frightening the incident has been to his entire family.

"Derek is facing a prison sentence here and, certainly, given all that the family has gone through, this is just another heavy, heavy thing that they're facing," said attorney David Allen.

Allen said the shooting was a tragic mistake that his client wishes he could take back.

"We're saying it was an accident," he said. "That's not to say there wasn't some carelessness involved. Certainly there was, or else this would not have taken place, but this does not match up with gross negligence that's required for the state to prove there was a crime in this case."

Neither Carlile nor his wife spoke during the arraignment, but Allen talked about how they're holding up.

"The family's having -- obviously -- a difficult time," he said. "Nevertheless, it's a family with a tremendous amount of faith and support."

Allen said Carlile will testify at trial and tell jurors he made a mistake. He's currently on leave from the Marysville Police Department, but has said he wants his job back.