A Pasadena man received an eight-year prison sentence Wednesday after being convicted of fatally shooting a friend while recklessly handling a gun, authorities said.
Deleon Jackson, 25, of Pasadena, pleaded no contest to a count of involuntary manslaughter, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Ricardo Santiago said. A murder charge initially filed against Jackson was dropped and he was immediately sentenced to eight years in state prison.
Jackson shot and killed 27-year-old Eric Holloway in the early morning hours of Aug. 7, 2017, in the 1000 block of East Maple Street, according to prosecutors and Pasadena police officials. He fled from the scene but was found and arrested later the same day.
First responders found Holloway lying in the street bleeding, police said in a written statement.
“Paramedics responded and transported the victim to a local hospital in grave condition,” according to the statement. “The victim later succumbed to his injury at the hospital.”
“During the next 17 hours, Pasadena Detectives conducted a non-stop, exhaustive investigation in dogged pursuit of the identity and arrest of homicide suspect Jackson,” according to the statement.
The investigation determined Jackson did not shoot Holloway on purpose, but accidentally fired a gun while showing it to him and “grossly mishandling” it, Pasadena police Lt. Jesse Carrillo said. Detectives found no evidence the shooting was intentional.
Santiago said the evidence indicated “the defendant believed the gun was unloaded, but failed to confirm it prior to pulling the trigger. He then attempted to cover up/hide his involvement.”
An autopsy determined Holloway died from a gunshot wound to the head and the death was ruled a homicide, according to Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner records.
Wednesday’s plea came during what was scheduled to be a pre-trial conference in the Pasadena branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.