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Scripps Ranch Man Whose Gun Discharged, Killed Boy Sentenced To Four Years

Above: Todd Francis at a preliminary hearing in San Diego Superior Court. Nov. 20, 2013.

A Scripps Ranch man whose gun discharged and mortally wounded a neighbor boy as the fourth-grader and the defendant's 9-year-old daughter played with the weapon was sentenced to four years in state prison.

In February, 56-year-old Scripps Ranch resident Todd Conrad Francis pleaded guilty to a pair of felony child endangerment counts. He was given the maximum term.

San Diego police said 10-year-old Eric Klyaz was handling a 9 mm pistol in the defendant's garage at a condominium complex in the 10900 block of Ivy Hill Drive last June 4, along with Francis' 9-year-old daughter, Cierra, when the gun went off.

The victim suffered a chest wound and died at Rady Children's Hospital shortly afterward.

Deputy District Attorney Matthew Dix said prosecutors believe Francis' gun was loaded when the children found it.

Francis' wife, Susan, testified during a preliminary hearing last year that she got home about 3:30 p.m. and asked her 15-year-old son, Chad, to watch his younger sister while she ran an errand.

About 20 minutes later, she said she got a call from the teen, telling her to come back home because police were there and someone had been hurt.

Chad Francis testified he was upstairs using a computer and unaware that Eric had come over to play. The teenager testified that he had seen a gun case in the garage but never seen a gun.

Mark Jones testified that he was fixing a neighbor's garage door about 4:15 p.m. when he heard a shot and saw Cierra running out of the Francis' garage, screaming.

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