An Arizona man was sentenced to six months in jail for felony child abuse for leaving his five-year-old granddaughter in the desert with a loaded and cocked handgun with instructions to “shoot any bad guys”, Reuters reports.
Paul Armand Rater, 54, pleaded guilty to one count of felony child abuse under a plea agreement stemming from the incident in November, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
“There still has been no satisfactory explanation for why that happened,” the prosecutor said.
The girl was reported missing by family members four hours after Rater took her for a ride in his new pickup truck.
She was found holding a .45-caliber pistol during a search of the area by her mother and an off-duty firefighter, court records said.
The child told sheriff’s detectives she had been told to “shoot any bad guys”.
She said, “I don’t know why papa left me.”
Rater was found at a store and admitted leaving the girl under a tree with his gun.
He said his vehicle had broken down, and he left to seek help.
Rater then went into an establishment where he had drinks and a cheeseburger, court records showed.
In addition to the jail time, Rater was also sentenced to 10 years’ probation.
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