CLINTON — An East Feliciana Parish jury found a Jackson man accused of shooting his wife earlier this year guilty Wednesday of attempted manslaughter, 20th Judicial District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla said.
Phillip Newton Jr., 26, 3429 Bourbon St., was on trial Tuesday and Wednesday for attempted second-degree murder.
Newton was accused of shooting his wife, Tianne McCray, 30, in the stomach around midnight May 12 in their Jackson home.
The bullet went into the victim’s stomach and out through her back.
The jury deliberated for 2 hours and 45 minutes before coming back with a verdict on the lesser charge of attempted manslaughter, D’Aquilla said.
D’Aquilla said prosecutors told jurors there were two prior domestic abuse battery incidents in which Newton choked McCray and threatened to kill her.
However, authorities investigating the shooting could not find the weapon or any other witness besides McCray.
Brent Stockstill, Newton’s attorney, said Wednesday he didn’t think the state proved Newton had intent to shoot the victim, an element needed for an attempted manslaughter verdict.
Stockstill said the defense contended the shooting was accidental.
Newton could receive a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, but D’Aquilla said prosecutors may request Newton be sentenced as a habitual offender, which would mean they could ask that he be sentenced to additional years in prison.
Newton is slated to go back to court in April for motions and will be sentenced sometime after that, D’Aquilla said.