- Associated Press - Friday, October 28, 2016

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A Jacksonville teen has been sentenced to 18 years in prison after he fatally shot his girlfriend while the two were smoking marijuana and playing with a gun.

Local news agencies report that 19-year-old Elgardo Garcia Jr. was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty last month to manslaughter and other charges in the October 2015 death of 17-year-old Jaylene Cruz.

Police said Garcia and Cruz were pointing the laser sight from the stolen .40-caliber handgun at each other when Garcia accidently pulled the trigger and shot Cruz in the face.

Garcia faced 22 years in prison.

Garcia’s family read a letter in court from their son to Cruz’s family. He apologized for what happened and said it was an accident.

Cruz’s family said they accepted his apology.

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