BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) _ A first-grader's sketches of domestic violence led to an assault charge against his policeman father, who pleaded no contest to a lesser charge and lost his job.

Two sketches showed a man pointing a pistol at another person's head. A third sketch, as explained by the child, showed his father holding an ax over his mother, prosecutors said.

In the drawing, the father says ''yes, yes,'' while the mother says ''no, no.''

Those and similar images were in a journal the boy kept as an assignment for his first-grade class. Copies of the drawings were turned over to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, which began an investigation in March.

The father, Curtis McFee, a former Bradenton police sergeant, was sentenced Tuesday to a year of probation, psychological counseling and 50 hours of community service. As part of a plea bargain, he pleaded no contest to illegally display of a firearm.

McFee, 32, had been charged with aggravated assault, which carried a three- year mandatory prison sentence. In April, resigned his job as a police detective supervisor.

McFee had pointed his .45-caliber service pistol at his estranged wife, Kathryn McFee, 36, prosecutors said. A fellow detective had stepped between the quarreling couple and persuaded McFee to put the weapon down.

The fellow detective was suspended for two days and demoted to uniformed patrol duty because he failed to report the incident.