A Buena Park man who initially lied about the cause of a gunshot wound to the left side of his friend's head and was later charged with second-degree murder pleaded guilty last week to involuntary manslaughter.
Steven A. Fletcher was sentenced to three years in jail April 16, according to a statement from Costa Mesa Police Sgt. Ed Everett.
Just before midnight on May 3, 2010, officers received a call to assist in a medical aid report of a gunshot victim in Unit 29 at 1684 Whittier Ave., Costa Mesa. Cops walked in to find Fletcher cradling 25-year-old Keith Dennis in the living room. Costa Mesa Fire paramedics later
produced pronounced Dennis dead at the scene.
Fletcher told investigators he was in the kitchen when he heard and gunshot wound and discovered Dennis on the living room couch suffering from the head wound. A Colt .45 handgun was found on the floor next to the couch. But Costa Mesa detectives, well, shot holes through Fletcher's story, due to evidence collected at the scene.
“The subsequent investigation revealed Dennis and Fletcher had been drinking,” reads Everett's statement. “Fletcher had recently installed a light on his Colt .45 caliber pistol. Fletcher retrieved the gun to show Dennis the new light. During this time, Fletcher accidentally shot Dennis in the head–inflicting the fatal wound–as Dennis sat on the couch.”
It wasn't until two years later, on April 12, that Fletcher was arrested on suspicion of second degree homicide and booked into Orange County Jail. Four days later, he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to three years in jail.