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Felon pleads guilty to owning gun that killed 6-year-old

Associated Press logoAssociated Press 9/25/2021

MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) — A man with a felony record has pleaded guilty to illegally possessing a gun that he left with four unsupervised children in his Moorhead home, where one of the children accidentally shot and killed the man’s 6-year-old cousin.

The Star Tribune reports Phillip N. Jones, Jr., 34, entered his plea Thursday in U.S. District Court in St. Paul in connection with the death of Marcellus Dixon, who was shot and killed on March 21 at an apartment.

The plea deal seeks a prison term of up to 4 years and nine months.

Authorities said Marcellus Dixon was among other children playing in the kitchen. The loaded handgun had been retrieved from inside a box of snack chips atop a kitchen cabinet. One of the children fired a shot that ricocheted off the stove and hit the 6-year-old.

Jones has felony convictions in Hennepin and Anoka counties dating back roughly 14 years. They include attempted drive-by shooting, fleeing police and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Jones remains jailed without bail ahead of sentencing, which has yet to be scheduled.

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