Father pleads to 3rd-degree murder in death of daughter, 4

Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 5

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A Philadelphia father accused of “carelessly and recklessly” waving a gun around a small bedroom with seven children present before it went off, killing his 4-year-old daughter, has pleaded guilty to third-degree murder.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that 31-year-old Maurice Phillips entered an open guilty plea Friday to homicide and 16 other counts including child endangerment, reckless endangerment, evidence-tampering and a weapons count. An open guilty plea means there’s no agreement with prosecutors on a sentence.

Authorities said he aimed a .45-caliber pistol at the television in the Kensington home’s bedroom in April 2016 and the weapon discharged, hitting Tahirah Phillips in the head.

One of Phillips’ attorneys called the case a “heartbreaking, tragic accident” and another said he is “incredibly remorseful.” Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 5.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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