Bluefield man gets life in prison with mercy in estranged wife's death

PRINCETON, W.Va. (AP) – A Bluefield man has been sentenced to life in prison with a recommendation of mercy for fatally shooting his estranged wife.

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports a judge also sentenced 27-year-old Michael Neel to another three to 15 years for attempted murder.

Neel pleaded guilty in January to killing 20-year-old Kayla Neel and shooting her friend while they were sitting in a truck in 2014. A judge declared a mistrial in August after jurors were deadlocked on murder and attempted murder charges. Michael Neel said the shooting was accidental.

Neel also received between two and 10 years for malicious assault, and a term of five years apiece on each of three wanton endangerment charges.

Michael Neel faces almost 28 years behind bars before he could be eligible for parole.

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