- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 15, 2012

A man who fatally shot his fiancee by accident during an argument in their home last year has been sentenced to nearly 11 years in prison.

Ronald Pickett, 27, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the March 5, 2011, shooting of 36-year-old Vanessa McGee and was sentenced Friday to 10 years and 10 months in prison.

Hours before the shooting occurred, the couple was headed out to a club together, and Pickett stopped to pick up another woman whom McGee did not know, according to prosecutors. The three people went to the club and stayed for several hours before returning home, dropping the other woman off along the way. An argument about the other woman ensued between the couple and continued as they returned to their home in the 4700 block of B Street Southeast.

At some point during the argument, Pickett retrieved a 9 mm pistol from their bedroom. As McGee tried to leave the home, she slipped, falling into Pickett, prosecutors said. The gun went off when the two collided, and McGee was struck in the top of her shoulder.

Charging documents filed in the case indicate that the bullet passed through McGee’s lung and lodged in her abdomen. She died from the wound.

Pickett’s public defender could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon after the sentencing.

• Andrea Noble can be reached at anoble@washingtontimes.com.

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