BEAVER, Pa. (AP) — A western Pennsylvania newlywed has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment in the shooting death of her niece hours after the ceremony.
Christina George of Patterson Township wept as her hands were cuffed behind her back after the judge revoked her bail, and her relatives and friends cried as she was led from the courtroom to be held in the Beaver County jail, pending her sentence.
The 31-year-old woman was convicted by a jury Friday in the April 24 death of 21-year-old Katelyn Francis of Fairmont, West Virginia. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
Police said George and her new husband emerged from Jimmy K's Bar and Grille in New Brighton, about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh, when an argument broke out over who should drive home.
The defense said the handgun went off as George was trying to move it from her husband's opened glove box to a deep center console to put it in a safe place.
"Tina George loved this girl," said defense attorney Stephen Colafella, who urged jurors to acquit his client on the grounds of "excusable homicide by misadventure."
"She's left with the aftermath of this, just like everyone else in this room," he said.
But Assistant District Attorney Brittany Smith said the gun was in the console and George was removing it from there when it went off.
"When you pick up that gun, your mind should tell you you have a duty of care to the people around you," Smith told jurors.
After the verdict, she said relatives of the victim could now "go about their grieving."