Woman Pleads Guilty to Topaz Ranch Estates Murder

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GARDNERVILLE, Nev. (AP) - A Douglas County woman who originally claimed she had accidentally shot to death a man who lived in Topaz Ranch Estates has recanted and pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.

Jeanine Mona Escandon has been in the Douglas County jail for a year held on $1 million bail for the killing of Norman Welch in the fall of 2011.

The 39-year-old woman entered the plea Tuesday before District Court Judge Tod Young. She initially told investigators she'd been arguing with the 59-year-old Welch and didn't know the gun was loaded when she cocked it and pointed it at him.

She's scheduled to be sentenced June 27. She faces life in prison but the judge could decide to make her eligible for parole in 20 to 50 years.

Information from: Gardnerville Record-Courier