Lumberport woman gets maximum sentence for voluntary manslaughter of partner


CLARKSBURG, W.Va.- A Lumberport woman who shot and killed her longtime partner in the presence of four children was sentenced to 15 years in prison Tuesday.

Harrison Circuit Judge Chris McCarthy sentenced Melissa McAtee, 35, the maximum sentence for the voluntary manslaughter conviction. In March, McAtee was convicted by a jury of six men and six women of voluntary manslaughter for the 2018 shooting death of David Cottrill.

Melissa McAtee

Prosecutor Rachel Romano asked for the maximum sentence, citing there was a high degree of intent in this crime.  The victim’s mother was unable to speak to the court, but asked Romano to speak on her be half.  

Defense Attorney Susan Morris argued that the legislature realized that with this charge, different facts & circumstances exist in each circumstance and asked Judge McCarthy to look at this case.  McAtee was a victim of domestic violence, intelligent, had no intent and no history of drugs, Morris argued.  A juvenile child who was present at the shooting, spoke on behalf of the defendant, asking the judge “to give his mom a second chance” and that “she was always holded [sic] back by my dad”.  

McAtee also addressed the court, reading a statement that partially said “I had no intentions of harming him” and “I’m truly sorry for what has happened”.  Morris asked for the minimum of three years and that the sentence be suspended, asking for probation within the community.  

McCarthy sentenced McAtee to the maximum 15 years with credit for time served.  He also ordered McAtee to pay restitution to the crime victims compensation fund, who paid for David Cottrill’s funeral. McCarthy also ordered McAtee to pay court costs.  

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