Florida teen gets 50 years for fatally shooting younger sister with a rifle
A Florida teenager who fatally shot his 10-year-old sister has been sentenced to 50 years in prison.
Fredrich Lochridge Jr., 16, was sentenced on Tuesday after he pleaded no contest to a first-degree murder charge for the death of his sister, Izabella Heffernan.
Heffernan's body was initially found by local authorities last February in a field close to her family's home in Panama City, Florida.
The autopsy shows the girl had gunshot wounds to her chest and cheek from a rifle.
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Lochridge initially claimed he shot his sister after mistaking her for a deer. Then he told police he accidentally shot her while aiming for an attacker.
He finally admitted to shooting his sister in the chest -- also by accident -- while he was teaching her how to use a rifle.
After, he shot her in the head to end her suffering.
"She started making gurgling noises," Lochridge said to officers. "I did not know exactly how to deal with that, so I shot her again."
Lochridge was then sentenced to serve every day of his 50-year prison sentence by Circuit Judge Brantley Clark Jr.
He was also given 10 years of probation to follow.
"You'll be 66 when you get out of prison. Do you understand that?" Clark asked Lochridge while in court.
Prosecutor Larry Basford told jurors that the family agreed to the terms of the plea bargain.
"The effects on the victim's family have been devastating," Basford said. "The father is present, and he accepts the conditions of the plea agreement."
Basford also added that the State Attorney's Office considered several factors to determine a sentence appropriate for Lochridge -- primarily his youth and clean criminal record.
However, by attempting to hide the murder weapon and deceiving law enforcement, Lochridge demonstrated aspects the office saw as aspects of maturity.