Father faces retrial on one charge after hung jury in toddler’s death at Lake Moomaw

The 2-year-old died from a gunshot wound in June 2020

COVINGTON, Va.UPDATE (10:00 p.m. Sept. 9)

The father of a 2-year-old boy who allegedly accidentally shot and killed himself is facing a retrial for charges placed against him.

During Thursday’s trial, the jury said Benjamin Jacobsen is not guilty of involuntary manslaughter in his son’s death.

However, the jury couldn’t come to a unanimous decision on if he was guilty of child endangerment, so a retrial is coming at a later date.

Courts have not determined a retrial date at this time.

Benjamin previously faced two other charges that were also dropped: Murder: homicide and Cruelty/injury child: labor.

His wife, Carrie, had all charges dropped against her in the death of their son.

UPDATE (3:20 p.m. Sept. 9)

During Thursday’s court proceedings, all charges were dropped against the mother of a 2-year-old boy who allegedly accidentally shot and killed himself.

Carrie Jacobsen previously faced four charges:

The trial of her husband, Benjamin, continued in Alleghany County Circuit Court on Thursday where he previously faced the same four charges.

Now, he only faces the charges of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment.

During Thursday’s proceedings, prosecutors continue to review the evidence from the shooting in which officials said the couple’s 2-year-old son found a loaded gun under an air mattress, while they were camping and accidentally shot himself.

Both sides finished presenting evidence and court is in an hour-long recess as attorneys go over jury instructions.

The trial could continue through Friday.

10 News’ Annie Schroeder is in the courtroom and we’ll update this article when we have more information.


The parents of a 2-year-old boy are facing four charges in connection with the death of their child at an Alleghany County campground in June 2020.

The jury trial for Benjamin Jacobsen and Carrie Jacobsen, both from Port Republic, Virginia, started Wednesday morning in Alleghany County.

On June 19, 2020, authorities arrived at the Morris Hill Campground near Lake Moomaw where their 2-year-old son was pronounced dead after being shot.

Most of the morning was spent selecting jury members for the trial, which could continue through the rest of the week.

Multiple law enforcement members, first responders, and medical experts took the stand. Officials say the child found a loaded gun under an air mattress in the early morning hours and accidentally shot himself. The family was camping at the Morris Hill Campground with friends, who called 911.

First responders and law enforcement officials say they arrived and administered CPR to the child, who was going to be transported to the hospital but died on scene.

Both parents are being represented by different attorneys, who have not had witnesses take the stand yet, but say the incident was an accident and they did not intend their child to be harmed.

The couple had dozens of supporters both outside and inside the courthouse during the first day of their trial, who did not want to speak with 10 News on camera but they were wearing buttons to show support.

More witnesses from the prosecution and defense are expected to take the stand when the case continues Thursday morning.

About the Authors

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.

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