William McCollom, the ex-police chief of Peachtree City, Georgia, has been sentenced to probation for shooting and paralyzing his ex-wife on New Year’s Day. McCollom reportedly kept a loaded gun in bed for secuirty and said the shooting was an accident. The couple divorced in the ‘90s, reunited but did not re-marry, and continue to live together even after the shooting.

McCollom pleaded guilty Thursday to reckless conduct, a misdemeanor, and received a sentence of one year’s probation and a fine of $1000. He called 911 on New Year’s Day to report that he had accidentally shot Margaret McCollom while they slept. He later told police that he drank alcohol and took sleeping medication before bed, then awoke because he heard dogs barking outside. He took his service weapon from the dresser and went to investigate; when he returned, he lay down with the loaded gun in bed. He told police he awoke to the sound of the gun going off. Margaret was paralyzed below the waist. She later told investigators she believed the shooting was an accident.

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McCollom, who’s been divorced four times but has no record of domestic violence or other criminal convictions, resigned from his job following the shooting. He now lives in Florida. It’s unknown if Margaret went with him.


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Screengrab via WSB-TV