FRIENDSHIP (WAOW) - A 20-year-old Friendship man was sentenced to a year in jail, placed on five years probation and ordered to pay $7,300 in restitution Wednesday for accidentally killing his girlfriend with a pellet gun, a court official said.
Branden Davis pleaded no contest to homicide by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon in the April 10, 2016, death of Constance Heintz, 26, of Friendship. The plea allowed the judge to convict him as if he pleaded guilty.
The shooting occurred early in the morning in the Town of Preston. Police said Heintz was found bleeding and unresponsive and life-saving efforts were unsuccessful.
Davis told investigators he did not believe the gun was loaded, according to the criminal complaint
Before placing Davis on probation, a judge imposed and stayed a three-year prison sentence, Adams County Clerk of Courts Kathleen Dye said.
The means if Davis violates probation over the next five years, he will be sent to prison, she said.
Besides the jail time and restitution, Davis must maintain absolute sobriety, undergo random drug and alcohol testing and have no dangerous weapons, among other requirements, for him to successfully complete probation, Dye said.