Man gets three years for shooting friend

A Buena Park man was arrested, convicted and sentenced for a fatal 2010 shooting in Costa Mesa, all within four days earlier this month.

Steven A. Fletcher, 27, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter for accidentally shooting his friend Keith Dennis, 25, in the head just before midnight on May 3, 2010.

Police said at the time of the shooting that it might have been an accident. A police spokesman did not immediately return a call Monday to explain why the arrest took two years.

Fletcher was arrested April 12 and pleaded guilty to the single manslaughter charge at his first court appearance four days later, getting a sentence of three years.

Dennis and Fletcher had been drinking the night of May 3, 2010, when Fletcher decided to show Dennis a light he had installed on his Colt .45, according to a Costa Mesa Police Department press release Monday.

Instead, Fletcher accidentally shot Dennis in the head while Dennis sat on his couch.

When police arrived at 1684 Whittier Ave. No. 29 on Costa Mesa's Westside, next to Banning Ranch, just before midnight, they found Fletcher cradling Dennis in the living room, according to the press release.

At the time, Fletcher said he was in the kitchen when Dennis shot himself, according to police.

— Jon Cassidy

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