Georgia Police Chief Who Accidentally Shot Ex-Wife Pleads Guilty to Reckless Conduct

Georgia Police Chief Pleads Guilty to Accidentally Shooting Ex-Wife
William McCollom
AP

08/13/2015 AT 03:20 PM EDT

A former Georgia police chief who accidentally shot his ex-wife on New Year's Day pleaded guilty to reckless conduct on Thursday.

Former Peachtree City Police Chief William McCollom was sentenced to a year of probation for the shooting, which left his ex-wife, Margaret, paralyzed from the waist down, CBS News reports. He was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine.

An investigation found no evidence that McCollom intended to shoot his ex-wife, but that didn't stop Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard from seeking the indictment against the ex-police chief, who resigned from his post in March. The grand jury agreed, returning an indictment against McCollom in April.

McCollom went to bed with a loaded gun after drinking alcohol and taking sleeping pills. He woke up to the sound of a gunshot, the Associated Press reported earlier this year.

In the 911 call, he told the dispatcher that he believed the weapon discharged after he attempted to move it to a nightstand. "The gun was in the bed, I went to move it, and I put it to a side and it went off," he said in the recording, according to the AP.

The couple had an on-again, off-again relationship. After divorcing in 1999, they later reunited, though it remains unclear whether they ever remarried.

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