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April 18, 2014

Caldwell sentenced in woman's death

TRAVERSE CITY — A Traverse City man who said he accidentally shot his girlfriend to death in a failed suicide attempt will serve a sentence of about 11.5 to 19 years, the maximum sentence.

Robert Lee-Allen Caldwell, 33, plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter and three other charges in March after he was accused in the Nov. 19 shooting of Monica June Anderson, 28, who died from a single gunshot.

Thirteenth Circuit Court Judge Philip Rodgers on Thursday sentenced Caldwell to eight years and four months to 15 years for involuntary manslaughter; for weapons used under the influence causing death, two years with 72 days credit for felony firearm; and 16 to 24 months for resisting and obstructing a police officer, according to sentencing documents. Caldwell must serve the two-year felony firearm sentence first and the other sentences consecutively.

A police report states Caldwell told authorities that on Nov. 19 he drank alcohol, loaded a .45-caliber pistol owned by Anderson and held it to his forehead as he sat at the bottom of their Aero Park Drive apartment’s staircase. He told authorities he flinched, the gun fired and a round missed him and struck Anderson.

Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Bob Cooney said he hopes the sentence gives Anderson’s family some sense of closure.

“I respect the judge’s sentence. It’s harsh, but considering what happened with a young woman dead and two young children left without a mother because of a foolish and selfish act, I think it was appropriate,” Cooney said.

Caldwell’s attorney Janet Mistele could not be reached for comment

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