- Associated Press - Friday, October 24, 2014

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A 23-year-old former U.S. Army reservist was sentenced Friday to eight to 20 years in Nevada state prison for shooting and killing a Henderson woman while they chatted with someone by webcam online a year ago.

Colin Michael Lowrey apologized at sentencing in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, and said he never meant to hurt anyone, defense attorney Stephen Stein said.

Family members of the slain 23-year-old woman, Cherish Noelle Pincombe, called Lowrey a cold-blooded killer, Stein said.

Lowrey pleaded guilty in August to voluntary manslaughter with a deadly weapon in a plea deal that avoided trial in the Oct. 22, 2013, slaying at a Henderson home.

Lowrey told police that he’d been up all night drinking alcohol, playing video games with his three roommates and Pincombe, watching movies and webcam chatting online with people on a site, omegle.com, that police said kept no logs or identities of participants.

Police said he retrieved a rifle and his registered .45-caliber handgun at the webcam chat request of a woman who said she was from Norway, cleaned the handgun and left it on a desk near Pincombe when he left the room for several minutes.

When he returned, Lowrey told police, he put the handgun to Pincombe’s head at her request, but didn’t check to see if it was loaded before he pulled the trigger.

Lowrey told police he thought Pincombe loaded the weapon while he was out of the room.

Henderson police said investigators think someone on the anonymous Internet chat site witnessed the shooting.

Prosecutor Jake Villani said investigators didn’t find Pincombe’s fingerprints on the weapon. He characterized the slaying as a thrill kill, not an accidental death.

“We believe there is a witness that saw this, but we weren’t able to trace the Internet address, and no one ever came forward,” he said.

Stein said the incident illustrated the danger of guns - even for someone like Lowrey, an Army Reserve staff sergeant who was trained to use weapons.

“You don’t mess around with guns,” the defense attorney said. “You may not think it’s loaded. But you may not know.”

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