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San Diego man arrested in accidental gun death of 10-year-old boy

June 19, 2013|By Tony Perry
  • Eric Klyaz, 10, was killed while he and a neighbor were playing with a gun found in the garage of the girl's family.
Eric Klyaz, 10, was killed while he and a neighbor were playing with a gun… (Fox-5 San Diego )

A San Diego man has been arrested on three felony charges in connection with the accidental shooting death of a 10-year-old boy, officials said.

Eric Klyaz was killed June 4 when he and a 9-year-old neighbor were playing with a gun they found in the girl's garage and the weapon discharged, according to the county medical examiner.

The gun was owned by the girl's father, Todd Conrad Francis.

Francis, 52, surrendered to police Tuesday afternoon and was booked into county jail on charges of child endangerment, negligent storage of a firearm, and involuntary manslaughter. He left jail Tuesday night after posting $100,000 bail.

The two children were playing in the garage of Francis' condo in the Scripps Ranch neighborhood. The girl was not injured.

The boy, a fourth-grade student, died of a gunshot to the chest. Court documents identify the gun as a Sig-Sauer 9.

Before his arrest, Francis had insisted the gun was unloaded, hidden and kept in a separate spot from the ammunition. The charges indicate that investigators do not believe him.

“The weapon was purchased lawfully, was registered, was not loaded and was hidden in a separate location from the ammunition,” said Francis’ lawyer, Danna Cotman, in a written statement. “Neither the gun nor the clip were immediately accessible to children and were hidden separately for home security.”

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tony.perry@latimes.com

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