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Philly man sentenced to 20 years for shooting gun into air

A 47-year-old Philadelphia man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a weapon into the air.

Francis Aponte was at an outdoor party in June 2012 when two Philadelphia police officers saw him shoot a gun into the air.

That act, along with a criminal record including at least one prior felony, has resulted in the 20-year sentence handed down Tuesday, CBS Philadelphia reported. His mandatory minimum was 15 years in prison with a maximum sentence life.

No one was hurt, but federal prosecutor Jose Arteaga argued that the defendant committed a potentially lethal offense.

"I cite an example of a four-year-old boy who was killed when the bullet enered the top of his head when an individual fired a gun into the air.  There was a seven-year-old that was killed. There was a 34-year-old woman that was killed while she was standing in a back yard," Jose Arteaga, the prosecutor, said, the report said.

Arteaga noted several prior instances of children and adults being killed or disabled in similar incidents in Philadelphia.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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