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Child killing was ‘accident,’ says defense

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man told police he was using his assault rifle as a crutch to help him get up from a couch at a friend’s apartment when it fired a burst through the ceiling and killed a little girl upstairs, court records show.

A police affidavit said Jon Andrew Meyer Jr. told investigators the gun went off accidentally June 27 at the Grants Pass apartment, the Grants Pass Daily Courier reported.

Defense lawyer Gary Berlant adds Meyer had been assured the gun was not fully automatic.

Meyer is being held on $250,000 bail on charges of manslaughter, assault and unlawful possession of a machine gun.

Authorities say he was responsible for the reckless burst of rifle fire that killed 5-year-old Alysa Bobbitt of Shady Cove and wounded apartment resident Karen Hancock. The girl and Hancock were upstairs in the same apartment as Meyer.

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