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Wife admits killing spouse

A woman who now admits she held a revolver not far from her husband's chest and shot him during an argument has pleaded guilty to second-degree felony manslaughter.

Pamela Morgado, 38, entered the guilty plea Monday as part of a plea bargain. She originally was charged with first-degree felony murder in connection with the April 20, 2002, death of her husband, Joseph Morgado.

A first-degree felony carries the potential sentence of five-years-to-life in prison. A second-degree felony carries a possible sentence of one-to-15 years in prison.

The couple was arguing in their trailer home in Magna and Joseph Morgado was packing his things getting ready to leave when the crime occurred, according to court documents. During the argument, Pamela Morgado picked up a revolver that had bullets that were "clearly visible even with the cylinder closed" and fired one round, according to court documents.

The bullet hit Joseph Morgado in the chest, killing him at the scene, and Pamela Morgado called 911 and told the operator that she "got mad, picked up her gun and pulled the trigger," court documents state.

Prosecutor Angela Micklos told 3rd District Judge Paul Maughan that if this case had gone to trial, prosecutors would have argued that Pamela Morgado a few hours earlier unloaded, cleaned and loaded her .38 revolver, definitely knew the gun was loaded and that the weapon was 4 to 12 inches away from Joseph Morgado when fired.

"The state would have argued that was, at a minimum, reckless," Micklos said.

After reviewing Morgado's rights with her and questioning her on other matters, the judge asked Morgado, "How do you plead?" to the charge of manslaughter.

"I plead guilty," she replied in a soft voice.

Maughan ordered a pre-sentence report and set May 5 for sentencing.