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Man charged with manslaughter after accidentally shooting wife, killing unborn child

Sheldon Pettibone.JPG
Posted at 12:34 PM, Oct 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-18 12:34:55-04

SOUTH DAKOTA — A South Dakota man has been charged with second-degree manslaughter after police say he negligently shot his pregnant wife, leading to the loss of their unborn child.

The Argus Leader reports that Sheldon Pettibone of Sioux Falls told police he was cleaning his gun Sunday when it fired, shooting his wife, Melanie.

She was rushed to a hospital and the fetus was delivered by cesarean section but was dead. An autopsy found that the bullet hit Melanie Pettibone in the thigh and traveled to her uterus.

Police initially arrested 22-year-old Sheldon Pettibone for negligently discharging the gun, but on Wednesday he was charged with manslaughter. It isn't clear if he has an attorney.

Police say Pettibone admitted he was distracted by a football game on TV.