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Teen sentenced to year in shooting of infant nephew

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The Minneapolis 17-year-old who accidentally shot an infant nephew and then ran off at the urging of several relatives has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison, the Pioneer Press reports.

James Devon Early pleaded guilty to a single count of reckless discharge of a firearm in the Sept. 6 incident, the newspaper reports. He had said a 38-caliber revolver that he had brought to his brother's home went off by mistake, even though his brother had told him not to have the gun around the 2-month-old.

The brother initially told police a phony story, claiming that he had been outside and that the baby was shot at random by an unknown stranger. He later confessed the truth, police say.

Early turned himself in several days later and was charged with a felony in Hennepin County District Court.

The bullet struck the baby below the right ear, but the child was treated and released.

In what was a bit of an odd twist in the case, Early chose to serve the prison time – likely to be reduced to about eight months of time actually served – rather than do three years of probation, the Pioneer Press reports.

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