Massachusetts man pleads guilty to accidental fatal shooting of Miami man

Justice Galarza sentenced in April shooting that killed Christian Merced

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SALEM, Mass. - A Massachusetts man has been sentenced to 3½ years in prison for accidentally shooting and killing a friend's brother who was visiting from Florida.

Justice Galarza, 20, was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty to manslaughter and illegally possessing a firearm.

The sentence included two years on the manslaughter conviction, to be followed by 18 months on the gun conviction.

Prosecutors said Galarza was showing the gun to Christian Merced, 21, of Miami, in a Beverly apartment last April when it discharged. Merced was struck in the chest.

The magazine had been removed but there was still a round in the chamber.

Galarza fled after the shooting but later surrendered to authorities.

He apologized to Merced's family in court.

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