JUNEAU -

A 50-year-old Skagway man will serve seven years in jail after accidentally shooting his girlfriend during a suicide attempt.

Carl Timothy Forester was sentenced Tuesday for assault.

The Juneau Empire reports Judge Philip Pallenberg also ordered Forester's firearms be surrendered to the state for destruction after the November shooting, which he says was "six inches away" from being a homicide.

Authorities said he was depressed and put the shotgun in his mouth. His girlfriend tried to stop him by hitting him in the head with the butt of another gun, but that caused him to involuntarily squeeze the trigger and shoot her in the upper chest.

The victim, who is permanently disfigured, begged the judge for a more lenient sentence, saying there was no intent to harm her.