Arrested after a child was shot with his rifle, he fled his court appearance

A Madera County man who was arrested after a 9-year-old girl was shot with his rifle skipped his court appearance and is now sought on a bench warrant.

Alberto Alfaro Morales, 51, was arrested on felony charges in December after the girl was shot with the Ruger .22 caliber rifle by her 5-year-old cousin. The girl survived the shooting, which took place in the 20000 block of Avenue 6. If convicted of the charges, Morales could face a prison term between 16 months and three years in jail.

District Attorney Sally Orme Moreno said that Morales was due in court on Feb. 5 to answer the charges of criminal storage of a firearm. He did not show up, and the $25,000 bench warrant was issued by the judge.