Gun owner sentenced to prison for death of neighbor child

SAN DIEGO -- A 56-year-old man was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison for an incident in which his gun was responsible for the accidental death of a 10-year-old boy who lived in his neighborhood.

Todd Conrad Francis had pleaded guilty to two counts of felony child endangerment for the June 4, 2013 incident. Francis left the gun in an unsecured location in the garage of his family's Scripps Ranch condominium, prosecutors said.

Francis' then-9-year-old daughter and her friend, Eric Klyaz, found the weapon and began playing with it, prosecutors said.

The boy, a fourth-grade student, died of a gunshot to the chest. Court documents identify the gun as a Sig Sauer 9-millimeter.

Francis had insisted the gun was unloaded, hidden and kept in a separate spot from the ammunition. Prosecutors did not believe him.

In pleading guilty to child endangerment, prosecutors dropped a manslaughter charge.

Francis' attorney asked Superior Court Judge Timothy Walsh to sentence him to probation. But Walsh refused and sentenced him to the maximum term under his plea bargain.


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