Parents accused of murder in 9-year-old's death plead not guilty

- The Phoenix parents accused of murder in the shooting death of their 9-year-old son plead not guilty on Thursday.

Kansas and Wendy Lavarnia face first-degree murder charges in the shooting death of their son, Landen. Phoenix police say on March 20, the couple claimed their 2-year-old toddler accidentally shot Landen, however, investigators believe the couple tried to cover up the shooting and cleaned up blood before calling 911, all while Landen lay dying in the home.

During the initial investigation, Wendy allegedly told police that she left a loaded gun on a bed and was about to holster the weapon when the toddler got ahold of it and shot Landen in the head.

"The account given by Landen's mother was not consistent with the physical evidence found at the scene," Sgt. Vince Lewis said in a news conference.

Police also believe Kansas Lavarnia was at the scene when Landen was shot, but left the home and came back several hours later after the 911 call.

Kansas is accused of first-degree murder, child abuse and hindering prosecution, while Wendy is accused of first-degree murder.

Their next court appearance is scheduled for May 18.

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