News Staff Report
A Flomaton man, indicted for murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend more than two years ago, accepted a plea deal that calls for him to spend the next two years in prison, with three years of community corrections after his release.
Shannon Heath Bell, 33, entered the guilty plea last week in Escambia County Circuit Court, just prior to his case going to trial. He was given a 20-year split sentence, with two years of incarceration and 36 months in community corrections, in exchange for the manslaughter plea.
Bell shot and killed Donna L. Martin, also of Flomaton, near the Pollard Boat Landing on December 2, 2016.
Bell claimed that he was trying to shoot a deer at night, and he and Martin struggled over the gun, which he said discharged into her side.
The Flomaton man called emergency medical services to the remote location, and Martin was taken by ambulance to D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital, where she later succumbed to her injury.
Bell was initially charged with manslaughter and hunting at night. He was indicted by a county grand jury and was arrested May 8 on the murder charge.