MINOT, N.D. — A Minot man accused of shooting his 5-year-old stepdaughter in the leg with a BB gun as a form of punishment has pleaded not guilty to a felony child abuse charge.

Twenty-eight-year-old Jacob Hill maintains that he was trying to shoot a mouse when the girl was hit by a pellet that ricocheted.

Authorities say the girl told them that Hill shot her for “being mean” to her 2-year-old sister.

The Minot Daily News reports that Hill faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com