Dallas man pleads guilty in shooting of friend

DALLAS -- The Dallas man who fatally shot a friend pleaded guilty to a charge of criminally negligent homicide with a firearm in Polk County Circuit Court last week.

DALLAS -- The Dallas man who fatally shot a friend pleaded guilty to a charge of criminally negligent homicide with a firearm in Polk County Circuit Court last week.

Bryant C. McGee, who accidentally shot Barry Vertner II, 21, during a dispute, was sentenced to five years in prison after settling on a plea agreement with the Polk County District Attorney's Office in the incident, which occurred in Dallas on March 22. Circuit Court Judge Monte Campbell imposed the sentence.

McGee has been charged with three counts in the shooting: second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, both of which are felonies, and pointing a firearm at another, a misdemeanor. The manslaughter charge, which is a Measure 11 crime, and pointing a firearm at another were both dropped in the plea agreement.

"We looked at a number of different factors in this case, but the biggest was that we wanted Mr. McGee to serve at least 60 months in prison," said Polk County District Attorney Stan Butterfield, adding the agreement guaranteed a sentence of that length. "And it saves the families the anguish of going through a trial."

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