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Man found guilty of shooting University of South Carolina student, given 40-year sentence


COLUMBIA, South Carolina — A man accused of shooting and paralyzing a University of South Carolina student has been sentenced to 40 years in prison after a Richland County jury found him guilty of attempted murder and four firearms violations.

Local media outlets report that 22-year-old Michael Juan Smith was sentenced Monday evening by Judge Robert Hood after the guilty verdicts.

Prosecutors said Smith shot and wounded Martha Childress as she waited for a taxi in Columbia's Five Points neighborhood in October. The 20-year-old woman was not the intended victim and is now paralyzed below the waist.

Last year, Smith was sentenced to 10 years on a federal firearms violation in the case. Hood says the federal sentence likely won't begin until Smith had served the full 40 years of his state sentences.

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