SOMERSET, Pa. – A western Pennsylvania jury has acquitted a man of homicide but convicted him of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of his fiancee.
Authorities said 21-year-old Bruce Emerick of Somerset had a rifle slung over his shoulder after arguing with 33-year-old Jeanine Downing at a birthday party in December 2007.
Police said Downing grabbed the barrel of the gun and pulled it toward her face while yelling at Emerick to shoot her, when the gun went off, killing her.
Witnesses testified that both Emerick and Downing had their hands on the gun, but no one saw who pulled the trigger.
Assistant District Attorney James Jacobs Jr. said he was not surprised by the verdict because of the complexity of the case. Defense attorney Jerome Kaharick called the outcome a victory for his client, who he said was "quite relieved." Emerick, who wept as he left the courtroom, is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 6.