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Colorado man pleads to reduced charge in fatal shooting

Posted at 6:03 PM, Apr 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-15 20:03:39-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado man charged with the first-degree murder of an Army veteran has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge.

The Gazette reports that 31-year-old Charles Valentino Lobato pleaded guilty Monday to reckless manslaughter in the January 2018 shooting death of 35-year-old Shawnee Tapia.

Lobato's attorneys argued that he fired in self-defense during a traffic dispute in Colorado Springs.

Police say cars driven by the men nearly collided in the city about 69 miles (111 kilometers) south of Denver, leading to a confrontation during which Lobato shot the Afghanistan war veteran.

Authorities say a nine-month manhunt ended with Lobato's arrest at a motel where they say he fired on police, although additional charges could not be supported and were not filed.

Records say Lobato is scheduled to be sentenced in June.