Man Guilty of Accidental Shooting
Mar. 27, 1999
BUCKINGHAM, Va. (AP) _ A man who shot and killed a passing driver while test-firing a pistol has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
David Lee Connell, 29, was convicted Friday. He will be sentenced in May.
In what both defense lawyers and prosecutors called a tragic accident, Connell shot John M. Sollecito while Sollecito was driving down a rural county road on Oct. 11.
Police said Sollecito was, 49, chatting with his wife when his side window shattered and he slumped forward, dead. His wife and a companion were able to stop the car without crashing.
At the time, Connell was test-firing a Colt .45 pistol in a friend's yard. He testified he was aiming downhill at a tin can, thinking the bullet could never make it to the road.
The bullet careened off a log beneath Connell's target and then hit Sollecito's rear-view mirror before striking him in the eye.
``From the direction I was shooting, I wasn't shooting at the road,'' Connell said.