A 39-year-old convicted felon who was originally charged with murder in the shooting death of a Moreno Valley man during a domestic dispute pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter Friday and was immediately sentenced to four years in state prison.
Rashema Noel Hardgrove of Moreno Valley was arrested in March, immediately after the fatal shooting of 52-year-old Wallace Edison in the 25800 block of Calle Agua, near Lasselle Street.
Hardgrove was charged with murder, and was facing sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations. She pleaded not guilty last month.
However, as part of a deal with prosecutors, Hardgrove admitted to a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter, and in exchange, the murder charge and sentence-enhancing allegations were dismissed, according to John Hall, the public information officer for the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Gail O’Rane accepted the plea Friday at the Riverside Hall of Justice, and immediately handed down the four-year sentence.
According to Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Richard Carroll, at about 1 a.m. on March 9, Hardgrove and Edison were involved in an unspecified confrontation, culminating in Hardgrove pulling a handgun and shooting Edison.
Witnesses called 911, and when patrol deputies reached the residence, they discovered the victim dead from a gunshot to the upper body, Carroll said.
Hardgrove was arrested at the property without a struggle, according to Carroll.
A possible motive for the shooting was not disclosed, nor was there any confirmation of the relationship between the defendant and victim.
Court records show that Hardgrove has prior convictions for possession of controlled substances for sale, child endangerment and intimidation of a business while loitering.
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