COLORADO SPRINGS – 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.