- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A Lexington County man has pleaded guilty to weapons charges after the shooting death of a child by a boy at a birthday party earlier this year.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said in a statement that 28-year-old Warren McDaniel of Gaston admitted the rifle belonged to him.

Nettles said the convicted felon admitted he had bought the gun for protection because he sold marijuana.

Seven-year-old Juliet Lynch was killed and a 5-year-old was injured in the April 12 shooting at a birthday party in Gaston.

Authorities said the boy was given access to the trunk of McDaniel’s car to get a toy gun. The child found a loaded rifle with a 30-round, high-capacity magazine. The child pulled the trigger and the two children were struck.

McDaniel will be sentenced later.

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