Authorities seek to charge Georgia police chief who shot wife in bed

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 05, 2015 3:05 PM

By David Beasley

ATLANTA (Reuters) - A Georgia prosecutor will seek a misdemeanor charge against a suburban Atlanta police chief who accidentally shot his wife in bed on New Year's Day, leaving her partially paralyzed.

Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard said Thursday he will ask a grand jury to indict Peachtree City Police Chief William McCollom on a reckless conduct charge in the Jan. 1 shooting of his wife.

Margaret McCollom is paralyzed from the waist down and still hospitalized, the district attorney said.

The couple have said the shooting was an accident that occurred when the chief tried to move a gun he had taken into bed for home security.

William McCollom went to sleep around 9:30 p.m. on New Year's Eve after drinking alcohol and taking sleep medication, Ballard said. He was awakened by barking dogs during the night, got his service revolver and checked the house, then returned to bed with the gun, he said.

"There is no evidence to suggest that Chief McCollom intentionally shot Mrs. McCollom, nor did the investigation reveal any motive to cause her harm," the district attorney said.

But Ballard said the chief's actions could be considered reckless under the law because he took a loaded gun to bed with him after drinking alcohol and taking sleep medication.

William McCollom could not be reached for comment.