D.A.: Peachtree City police chief to face misdemeanor charge - CBS46 News

D.A.: Peachtree City police chief to face misdemeanor charge

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FAYETTEVILLE, GA (CBS46) - Peachtree City Police Chief William McCollom will face misdemeanor charges in the New Year's Day shooting of his wife, Margaret, but will avoid any felony counts

McCollom accidentally shot and severely wounded his wife New Year's Day. McCollom said he accidentally pulled the trigger in his sleep.

Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard said he'll ask a grand jury to charge McCollom with reckless conduct.

When asked why he did not seek a stronger charge Ballard said there is not enough evidence to show McCollom intended to shoot his wife.

“We looked at something that may be stronger. You're right this is inadequate for her loss,” Ballard said. “His hand has a nickel-size powder burn that is consistent with his story. This is a painful way to fire a gun and I don't he would have intentionally done that."

Ballard said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation interviewed scores of witnesses, many of whom did not like McCollom. None of them believed the chief intended to shoot his wife.

When asked how could he have accidentally pulled that trigger, Ballard answered "It's a five-pound pull, you're right it would be hard difficult to do it. When you roll over in the bed you exert some force. I can't disprove it."

Ballard said McCollom drank alcohol, downed a sleeping pill then took his gun to bed with him while his wife slept.

"We believe he was impaired," Ballard said.

Margaret McCollom is now paralyzed from the waist down.

“We believe taking a gun to bed where someone is asleep is reckless in and of itself. Certainly in an impaired state we believe that it's criminal," Ballard said.

Ballard said McCollom is not receiving special treatment because he's a police chief.

Ballard will present his case to a grand jury on April 15.

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