Photo courtesy WVVA-TV
Judy Kowaleski-Slagle spoke to the court during her sentencing Monday.

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — A Mercer County mother was sentenced to spend more than seven years in prison for killing another mother during an argument following an altercation between their daughters.

Judy Kowaleski-Slagle, 43, of Brushfork, pleaded guilty in January to voluntary manslaughter after shooting 42-year-old Elizabeth Slagle during a fight last March in Brushfork. She was originally charged with murder.

The two women exchanged heated phone calls and text messages on March 28, 2013, after their daughters had an altercation on a school bus. The mothers met up and Kowaleski-Slagle fired a shot that killed Slagle. When police arrived, Kowaleski-Slagle was attempting to perform CPR on the victim.

Kowaleski-Slagle apologized during Monday’s sentencing hearing and maintained the shooting was an accident.

Mercer County Circuit Judge William Sadler sentenced her to seven and a half years in prison and gave her credit for time served.

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  • Jason412

    This is a fine example of why I don't trust plenty of "law abiding citizens" to have guns around me. A fight not much different then this cost my very close friend his life 5 years ago, that "law abiding citizen" has been out on parole for 7 months now.

    • J

      Agreed..more guns is not a good idea!

  • chasmo

    Totally speechless -- 7 yrs ?? - not saying much for our lives, is it ?!?

  • griff

    how could it be an accident? Why else would she have taken the gun out of the house unless she planned on using it.

  • griff

    7 years for taking a person's life. what a shame. W V has a "injustice" system. It is a sad state when the value of a life is gone.
    The death penalty needs re-instated & USED. Then the overcrowding in the jails & prisons will be gone.

  • jay zoom

    the judge should of put a bullet between her eyes said next case that way her daughter can grow up without a mother the same way the victims daughter is. maybe someday this state will wake up and get a death penalty

  • Larry

    I am sure that before this, she was an honest, hard working, level headed, decent, kind hearted person, who contributed greatly to her community and always put others first, that's probably why they were so easy on her.

  • Joy

    Only 7 a mothers life not more precious than that! This world has become so upside down in how we value of a persons life. Drug dealers get longer sentences than a person who took a sad!

  • Chad

    That is due to prison overcrowding. So many child molesters in prison now here in WV that they are being easier on the manslaughter charges and ten the murder charges. Honestly it all depends on what judge you get on how much time u get.

  • Gary

    The prosecuting attorneys and the judges plea bargain everything. The system is a travesty of justice especially here in WV.The ones here in Grant County are just as bad. They plea bargin almost everything and most the time the criminal gets a suspended sentence with parole. I've only seen the judge fine one person and that was $100 for welfare fraud and that was the only penalty they got.

  • Voter

    The guy that killed my nephew only got 15 years and already had a parole hearing after 3. Now he will get a parole hearing every year. People do serve longer for drug possession.

  • David

    They gave the gun a life sentence....

  • Beckie

    Accident? She brings a gun to a fight and says it was an accident? Really! And wow....jsut 7 years for killing someone? I agree with Maxeer.......

  • Maxeer

    Seven years for killing someone?...the laws in WV are a get more time for weed....Paleese.....