A Santa Maria man who accidentally fired a gun and severely injured two teenagers — including his own son — will be sentenced to seven years in state prison, according to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.
On Easter Sunday last April, Mansa Evans, 35, “was essentially playing with a loaded firearm and it discharged,” said Senior Deputy District Attorney Megan Ross, who called the case tragic and disturbing.
Evans pleaded no contest Thursday in Superior Court to felony child endangerment and a special allegation that he personally inflicted great bodily injury causing paralysis.
A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but is treated as a conviction for purposes of sentencing.
Evans will be sentenced to seven years in state prison on Nov. 15, and can only be paroled after serving at least 85 percent of that sentence.
Evans is a convicted felon, prohibited from owning guns in the first place, Ross added.
Evans was at his East Central Avenue home and followed his son into the bathroom, where his son’s best friend was brushing his teeth. Evans was carrying a loaded gun and “either did not know the gun was loaded or didn’t mean to have his finger on the trigger, but the gun went off,” Ross said.
The bullet travelled through his son’s face and exited his head, then hitting the second young man’s spinal cord, which instantly paralyzed him from the neck down, Ross said.
Evans was arrested, but never turned the gun over to the responding officers, and it remains missing.
Evans’ son made a strong recovery, although he still is overcoming effects from the wounds, Ross said.
“The best friend is fighting a brave battle back from paralysis, and is working hard to regain every bit of function he possibly can,” Ross said.