- Associated Press - Thursday, June 14, 2018

WILMNGTON, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina man has pleaded guilty in the death of his girlfriend last year.

News outlets reported 37-year-old Mark Dominic Aiena of Wilmington pleaded guilty Wednesday to involuntary manslaughter in the death of 34-year-old Ashley Ann Bell.

Aiena had been charged with second-degree murder. He also pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine, simple assault, communicating a threat and being a habitual felon.

Superior Court Judge Joshua Willey sentenced Aiena to between eight and 11 years in prison.

Wilmington police were called last July to a report of an unresponsive woman. Bell died at the scene from blunt trauma.

Assistant District Attorney Janet Coleman said Aiena’s relationship with Bell was volatile.

Aiena told police he and Bell were fighting and she fell, hitting her head on concrete base board.

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