Man sentenced in shooting of toddler daughter

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — A 23-year-old man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for aiming a shotgun at his young daughter and pulling the trigger.

The sentence handed down Tuesday was part of an agreement an attorney for Justin Gallagher worked out with prosecutors. He pleaded guilty to aggravated child abuse and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The 20-month-old girl lost half her ear but survived the October 2010 shooting.

The St. Petersburg Times reports Gallagher thought the gun was unloaded when he aimed it at his daughter.

Janet Pettyjohn, the grandmother of Gallagher’s wife, testified the incident was devastating for the entire family. She called his act “stupid,” but says Gallagher didn’t intend to harm his daughter.

Source: St. Pete Times, Associated Press

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