Michigan man Robert Caldwell will serve up to 19 years in prison for killing his girlfriend. Caldwell claimed that the bullet was meant for himself.
The 33-year-old man from Grand Traverse County pleaded guilty in March to involuntary manslaughter and three other gun-related charges for fatally shooting his girlfriend, 28-year-old Monica Anderson, last November.
Caldwell told police that he had stood in the stairwell of the apartment they shared and put the gun to his own head. But after pulling the trigger, he flinched, and the bullet flew up the stairwell and hit Anderson.
He was allegedly intoxicated at the time.
An investigation led to findings consistent with Caldwell’s claims, said Prosecutor Bob Cooney.
"We believe that the facts show that he acted with criminal negligence," Cooney said.
When police arrived, Caldwell, who had a gunshot wound to his hand, allegedly refused to put down the gun and acted as though he was going to shoot himself. He was charged with resisting arrest.
Anderson’s two children, ages 3 and 9, were home at the time of the incident, but were uninjured.
A judge just handed Caldwell a sentence of 11.5 to 19 years in prison for “missing” and killing his girlfriend. Two years of the sentence is for a felony firearm charge, while 8-15 are for involuntary manslaughter and 16-24 are for resisting police. The last two sentences will be served concurrently.
The victim’s family is glad that Caldwell admitted to what he did before entering the plea deal.
“To know that he's stepping up, knows that he's guilty, selfish, he did wrong. He just needs to pay for what he did,” said Sandy Anderson, Monica Anderson’s mother.
She said that while the couple was in love, they had a troubled relationship.
“She really loved him and he really loved her, but he had an addiction,” said Sandy Anderson.