Mom can attend funeral of son, 4, killed accidentally by brother, judge says

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EAST ORANGE, N.J. — A mother who broke down in court when a New Jersey prosecutor vowed to challenge her request to go to her son's funeral has been granted permission to attend the service, according to a spokeswoman for the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.

Itiyanah Spruill, 22, will be allowed to attend her 4-year-old's funeral Friday morning in East Orange. The child died June 25 after his 6-year-old brother accidentally shot him while the pair were playing with a gun inside a halfway house where their mother was staying, prosecutors said.

She pleaded not guilty Tuesday to endangering the welfare of a child and a weapons violation. At that court appearance, her lawyer asked for a transportation order so Spruill could attend the 10 a.m. service Friday.

While the prosecution contested the order, the judge replied that "it's not that unusual a request."

It's still unclear how the children were able to access to the gun, which belongs to their mother, a spokesperson for the prosecutor's office said.

Spruill did not have custody of the boys, who lived with their grandmother in Union County. They were visiting their mother at a halfway house on Norman Street when the tragedy occurred.