By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A man who said he slept with a shotgun and woke up to find a 3-year-old girl dead has pleaded guilty to murder.

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The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office says Marlin Pritchard appeared in-person before a judge Tuesday morning and pleaded guilty to one count of third degree murder and one firearms violation in connection with the shooting death of a toddler.

(Photo Credit: Allegheny County Jail)

Chassity Clancy was found dead inside a home on E. Warrington Avenue in Beltzhoover last February. She was found to have a gunshot wound to her neck while lying in a bed.

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Pritchard told authorities he was sleeping next to Chassity and had a shotgun under his pillow, pointing in her direction. The gun went off, hitting the girl in the middle of the night and ultimately killing her.

(Photo Credit: Family)

Pritchard told investigators he slept with the gun because of threats from other people, authorities said. Investigators say he was not supposed to have a gun because he was convicted of felony charges in the past.

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A sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 17.