A social worker says the Ohio mother of an 8-year-old boy who repeatedly shot his 4-year-old sister delayed reporting it and seeking medical help because she was afraid they would lose the firearms they use to hunt for food.

The Ashland Times-Gazette reports the case worker testified Thursday at a hearing about custody of the children, who are now living with relatives.

The mother, Alyssa Edwards, has pleaded not guilty to child endangering and evidence tampering charges.

Prosecutors say Edwards checked the girl's injuries after the March 3 shooting at her Hayesville home in north-central Ohio, and then returned to work at a horse farm and didn't take the girl to a hospital for several hours.

Prosecutors aren't charging the boy due to his age. His sister has been recovering.


Information from: Ashland Times-Gazette, http://www.times-gazette.com