Accused Columbia shooter pleads to federal charge

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A 21-year-old man accused of shooting and wounding a University of South Carolina student has pleaded guilty to a federal charge.

Michael Juan Smith pleaded guilty on Wednesday to being a felon in possession of a weapon. He will be sentenced later and could face 10 years in prison.

Smith is accused of shooting and wounding Martha Childress as she waited for a taxi in Columbia's Five Points neighborhood in October. The teen was not the intended victim and is now paralyzed below the waist.

Smith also faces state charges including aggravated assault.

Childress has been in recovery and hopes to re-enroll at the university later this year.

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