Nebraska man gets prison in connection with 9-year-old boy fatally shooting his little brother

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HASTINGS, Nebraska — A Hastings, Nebraska man was sentenced to up to five years in prison on a charge related to the shooting death of his girlfriend's 4-year-old son by his 9-year-old brother, according to court records.

The 31-year-old man was sentenced on Monday to 59 to 60 months in prison. His attorney said the man is considering an appeal.

His girlfriend's 9-year-old son has been charged with manslaughter, accused of using a .22-caliber rifle to fatally wound his little brother in April.

The boys' mother was convicted after she pleaded no contest on Sept. 9 to felony negligent child abuse resulting in injury. Prosecutors had lowered the charge from felony negligent child abuse resulting in death. Sentencing for the 30-year-old woman is scheduled for Oct. 28.

The Associated Press generally does not identify children accused of crimes. For that reason, the AP is not naming the adults or children involved the case.

Prosecutors have said police, school and mental health officials had concerns about the 9-year-old's violent behavior and that officials had warned both his mother and her boyfriend in the weeks before the April 18 shooting not to have guns in the house and to lock up all knives and other sharp objects.

An arrest affidavit says the mother didn't see the urgency in securing those items and made excuses, such as needing knives for cooking. Police said they found six firearms and ammunition in the home. None of the guns had been locked up.

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