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Woman accused of fatally shooting 3-year-old son denied bail reduction

Updated January 5, 2021 - 3:42 pm

A judge on Tuesday denied a request to lower the bail of a 25-year-old woman accused of mishandling a firearm and fatally shooting her 3-year-old son at a northeast Las Vegas apartment complex in December.

Jasmin Vargas, who has been charged with child abuse or neglect, child abuse or neglect with a deadly weapon resulting in substantial bodily or mental harm, and disregarding the safety of another person resulting in death or substantial bodily harm, appeared on Tuesday in Las Vegas Justice Court.

The Metropolitan Police Department has said Vargas was showing off her new gun on Dec. 16 “in an inappropriate manner” when it discharged, killing her 3-year-old son, John Jaffey. According to her arrest report, Vargas told police she pulled the trigger while thinking the gun was not loaded.

The Clark County coroner’s office ruled the boy’s death a homicide due to a gunshot wound to the head.

The Clark County Department of Family Services had investigated three claims of neglect in John’s family before the boy’s death. Two allegations made in 2017 were found unsubstantiated, while an allegation of neglect made in 2014 was substantiated and the family was placed under “formal supervision” during a three-year case, according to county records.

On Tuesday, defense attorney David Fischer requested that Vargas’ bail be lowered to $5,000 from $80,000, which he said was an “unattainable” cost.

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Amy Chelini denied the request, saying Vargas already had a bail hearing. A preliminary hearing in the case was rescheduled for Jan. 26.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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