Newburgh woman slept with loaded gun, tot nearby, cops say

A Newburgh police SUV is shown in this

A Newburgh police SUV is shown in this file photo. (June 18, 2012) (Credit: Leslie Barbaro)

A Newburgh woman fell asleep with a loaded .40-caliber pistol about a foot from her 3 1/2-year-old son in a room that also contained an empty semiautomatic rifle and several loaded magazines, police said Tuesday.

Town of New Windsor police said they found the AR-15 rifle as well as an unloaded .22-caliber pistol with ammunition nearby after they were summoned to an apartment at Trafalgar Road by family members who said they could not contact the woman, Vaunasia Nelson, 20.

Family members said they received a call from the toddler, who told them he could not wake his mother, according to police.

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Nelson, of South William Street, was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, a felony; endangering the welfare of a child and reckless endangerment, both misdemeanors; and possession of marijuana.

Nelson was arrested and her son was turned over to family members, police said.

Nelson was remanded to Orange County Jail, officials said.

Calls seeking information on Nelson's legal representation to police and the Town of New Windsor Court were not immediately returned.

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