Fitzhugh released after her manslaughter plea
A local woman who fatally shot her boyfriend was released from jail last week after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter.
Misty L. Fitzhugh, 34, originally faced a murder charge in the shooting death of Jeff Bartley, 43, on April 22, but was offered a plea deal for a reduced charge with an initial grant of probation.
She was released from jail, where she had been held since the shooting, and sent to the Trillium House, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Crescent City. She is also expected to complete a batterer’s intervention program as part of probation.
Her plea deal stipulated no more jail time, though she could face four years in state prison if she doesn’t successfully complete probation.
The plea deal was offered with consideration of the domestic violence Fitzhugh suffered while with Bartley, said a spokeswoman for the state Attorney General’s Office. The AG’s Office handled the case due to a conflict of interest for District Attorney Jon Alexander.
Fitzhugh’s formal sentencing is scheduled Tuesday.
According to authorities and testimony during Fitzhugh’s preliminary hearing:
On April 22, Fitzhugh and Bartley were at a turnout on Rowdy Creek Road when they got into an argument. Bartley began beating Fitzhugh, who had tried to leave the turnout in his truck.
Fitzhugh eventually called for help. Bartley’s nephew came with a rifle. When he reached the couple, they were in a fight. The nephew put the rifle down to get Barley off Fitzhugh. Fitzhugh grabbed the rifle and shot Bartley.