A Fredericksburg man who had been facing a murder charge agreed to a deal Tuesday that allows him to be released from jail.
Christopher Mack Alexander, 27, pleaded no contest in Fredericksburg Circuit Court to involuntary manslaughter. He was then sentenced to 10 years in prison with all of it suspended, except for the eight months he has already served.
As part of a plea agreement worked out by prosecutor Ed O’Shea and defense attorney Ghislaine Storr Burks, charges of using a firearm in the commission of a felony and shooting in public were dropped.
Court records show that 27-year-old Amanda Seay died Sept. 11, 2021, from a single shot from a 9mm Hellcat handgun in the home she and Alexander shared in the Riverwood apartment complex in the city. Their two young children were in the home at the time.
Alexander told police that he and Seay were arguing about his admitted infidelity. He said he left the bathroom at one point and when he returned, she had the gun in her hand and was threatening to kill herself.
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Alexander said Seay had threatened suicide before and that he didn’t believe she would actually kill herself. But he said he was trying to get the gun away from her anyway when it accidentally went off.
He acknowledged to police that he shouldn’t have brought the gun into the home because of his pending probation on a domestic assault incident, court records state.
City police didn’t buy Alexander’s story and charged him with murder. But evidence at a preliminary hearing that differed from an earwitness’ initial statements led prosecutors to further examine the evidence.
Experts differed on whether Alexander’s story was credible, leading O’Shea to determine that it would be difficult to prove murder beyond a reasonable doubt. But O’Shea wrote that the evidence does support the involuntary manslaughter conviction.
Storr Burks said a trial would have resulted in a complex case that would have come down to conflicting experts.
O’Shea said that if Alexander had not intervened, Seay would still be alive. Judge Gordon Willis told Alexander it was unwise to bring a gun into a volatile relationship.
“You introduced a loaded weapon into a volatile situation,” Willis said. “You and your two children will have to live with that for the rest of your lives.”
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404