- Associated Press - Friday, March 28, 2014

LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) - A man who pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the accidental Christmas Eve shooting death of his 2-month-old daughter was sentenced Friday to six years of probation but avoided prison time.

The Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era reported (https://bit.ly/1dVg22U ) that Scott Davis told the judge he loved his daughter, Kestyn, and that he replays the event in his mind daily.

“I was so proud of my wife and family,” Davis said in court. “I had such big dreams for her.”

He said faith, family and friends have helped him cope with the tragedy. His lawyer told the judge Davis had contemplated suicide.

Judge Dennis Reinaker told Davis the shooting “will haunt you the rest of your life,” and he said jail time would serve no purpose and compound a tragedy.

Authorities have said the 36-year-old Davis, who works in carpentry, was playing with a recently purchased Springfield 9 mm handgun in a home in the Lancaster suburbs when it discharged and hit the girl in a swing across the room. He had faced a potential sentence of up to 15 years, and the open guilty plea left sentencing up to the judge.

Davis, who had no criminal record, also pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child. He also was sentenced to 250 hours of community service and the costs of prosecution.

Davis may not own a gun again, and his lawyer said he has no desire to do so.

The district attorney said in January that Davis was a novice with firearms, having only fired handguns twice.

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