Santa Maria man gets four-year sentence for accidental shooting death

October 4, 2018

Fernando Navarro

A Santa Maria man who shot and killed his 13-year-old brother in what authorities described as an accident received a four-year prison sentence on Thursday. [KSBY]

On Feb. 3, Fernando Navarro, 19, shot and wounded Leonardo Navarro in the 600 block of West Polk Street. Leonardo Navarro was airlifted to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where he later died of his injuries.

Fernando Navarro was holding the gun when it “unintentionally discharged,” the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office concluded. Prosecutors charged Navarro with involuntary manslaughter, discharge of a firearm with gross negligence and unlawful firearm activity.

Navarro later agreed to a plea deal in which he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of involuntary manslaughter and a misdemeanor charge of unlawful firearm activity.

In addition to giving Navarro a four-year prison sentence, a Santa Maria judge ordered him to pay $10,894.50 to the California Victim Compensation Board. Navarro must also undergo mental health treatment, and he is prohibited from consuming drugs or alcohol.

At the time of the shooting, Navarro was on probation and prohibited from handling a gun. Days following the shooting, Navarro was released from jail for five hours to attend his brother’s funeral while accompanied by sheriff’s deputies.

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There is no way to express the tragedy or the stupidity sufficiently in words. So, let’s blame guns!