Springfield man, 31, pleads guilty in uncle's fatal shooting

1 year 1 month 2 weeks ago Tuesday, May 02 2017 May 2, 2017 Tuesday, May 02, 2017 1:59:42 PM CDT May 02, 2017 in News
Source: AP
By: The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A southwest Missouri man has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in the fatal shooting of his uncle in 2015.

The News-Leader reports that 31-year-old Preston Watts pleaded guilty last week to first-degree involuntary manslaughter in connection with the November 2015 killing of 38-year-old Jonathan L. McCrary in Springfield. Prosecutors agreed to drop the second-degree murder and armed criminal action charges against Watts in exchange for the plea.

Watts is scheduled to be sentenced at a hearing Aug. 16. He faces a maximum of seven years in prison.

Prosecutors say they will seek prison time. Rodney Hackathorn, Watts' attorney, says he will ask for probation.

Hackathorn says Watts was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed McCrary outside of a home on Nov. 2, 2015.

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