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Athens woman claims she fatally shot ex-boyfriend by accident

Heather Nicole McCall

By Joe Johnson

A woman who was charged with manslaughter for the shooting death of a former boyfriend this week at her home in Athens reportedly told police that she didn’t mean to pull the trigger.

Heather Nicole McCall, 26, was arrested after she shot and killed 31-year-old Jeremy Howard early Wednesday morning at her home on Nowhere Road.

According the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, McCall and Howard had formerly been in a romantic relationship that involved domestic violence.

Jeremy Howard in a 2022 Facebook profile photo

After the shooting this week, McCall explained to police that her landlord had told Howard to stay away from the Nowhere Road residence because he had previously beaten her.

When Howard showed up unexpectedly on Wednesday, McCall told police, she grabbed a gun from her roommate’s bedroom and, while screaming at the victim, she “tensed up and the gun went off.”

McCall said that she hadn’t even realized that her finger was on the trigger, according to police.

A man who was at the house visiting, told police that when the pair began to argue he went outside to give them space

Soon afterwards, the witness said, a single gunshot rang out and Howard came out the front door clutching his stomach, and he collapsed to the ground.

McCall came out right behind him, according to the witness, and she applied pressure to the gunshot wound in an effort to staunch the bleeding.

Howard was transported by ambulance to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Both McCall and her friend were taken for questioning at the east police precinct, where McCall was arrested on charges of involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct.

“Detectives decided the charges based on the circumstances,” said Lt. Jody Thompson, ACCPD’s public information officer.

In Georgia, someone commits the crime of involuntary manslaughter when they cause the death of another person without intending to do so.

It is a felony that is punishable upon conviction by one to 10 years imprisonment.

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In a previous version of this story, someone pointed out that Howard did not have a domestic violence charge/conviction.

In Clarke county, he did have gun, drug, and theft convictions as well as the obligatory Felony probation violations.

Source: ACC Clerk of Court.

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