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McKinney is arraigned in shooting case

Sedrick McKinney, whose early releases from prison and subsequent returns have made him a symbol of the state's overburdened criminal-justice system, was in court again Thursday.

McKinney, 21, was arraigned on charges of attempted first-degree murder, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Prosecutors asked Circuit Judge Edward H. Ward to declare McKinney a habitual criminal, which would increase McKinney's jail time if convicted.

Federal prosecutors also are considering charging McKinney under a law that would allow them to keep him in jail longer than state law would permit.

McKinney's most recent arrest was Sept. 26 after police said he shot a childhood friend in the face after the man slapped McKinney's sister.

McKinney first made headlines in 1988, when he shot and paralyzed a 1-year-old baby during a drug deal. He was convicted of attempted manslaughter and served nine months of a four-year sentence.

After his early release, McKinney was charged with violating probation when he was found in front of a crack house carrying more than $1,700. He was sentenced to six more years in prison, but was released the next day because of an error. McKinney eventually served nine months on the charge.

Since then, he has been arrested on charges that include assault, robbery and drug dealing.

McKinney was freed from prison two weeks before his latest arrest. He served a total of 11 months _ six in state prison and five in the county jail _ on a five-year sentence.

McKinney was being held without bond late Thursday in the Hillsborough County jail.

_ PAUL HANSON

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