CONVENT — A St. James Parish man who was already a convicted felon has been sentenced to seven years in state prison for his recent guilty plea to gun charges over an accidental shooting last year, prosecutors said.

Timothy Anweiler, 30, had told St. James Parish sheriff's deputies that a man was shot in the leg by the passenger of a passing vehicle April 4 while he and the victim were sitting on the tailgate of his pickup, prosecutors in St. James said.

But after some investigation, sheriff’s detectives learned the shooting actually happened when Anweiler and the victim were getting out Anweiler's pickup, prosecutors with the 23rd Judicial District said in a statement.

A revolver fell out, hit the ground, discharged and shot the victim in the leg. The victim was taken to a hospital for his injuries, prosecutors said. 

Deputies later searched Anweiler’s home, 1208 Lutcher Ave., Lutcher, and found the .22-caliber revolver in the shooting and several other guns, one of which was reportedly stolen. Anweiler has previous felony convictions for unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling and domestic abuse battery and is barred from gun possession, prosecutors said.

The discovery led to his arrest on obstruction and misdemeanor violation of protective orders counts and two illegal gun possession counts, sheriff's deputies said. 

In a plea agreement, Anweiler pleaded guilty Monday at St. James Parish Courthouse in Convent to illegal possession of stolen firearms and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, prosecutors said.

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