- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 28, 2015

POLSON, Mont. (AP) - A 26-year-old St. Ignatius man has pleaded guilty to negligent homicide for shooting a 3-year-old boy with a gun he believed was not loaded.

Galen Hawk entered his plea Wednesday in the Oct. 22 death of Lonato Moran-Allen. The boy was just weeks shy of his fourth birthday.

Hawk has said he had been drinking when he saw the boy playing with his gun. He took the gun away and the boy turned and fired a toy gun at Hawk. Hawk lifted his own gun, which he thought was empty, and fired a shot, hitting the boy in the back. Lonato died a short time later at a Ronan hospital.

Hawk also pleaded guilty to driving drunk in St. Ignatius in December 2012.

District Judge James Manley scheduled sentencing for March 25. Hawk does not have a plea agreement.

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