CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A week before his murder trial was set to begin, a Sissonville man pleaded guilty Tuesday to voluntary manslaughter.
Dale Thomas Newhouse, 55, had faced a murder charge in the September 2012 slaying of James "Jamie" Bryan Shaffer, 41, of Sissonville Drive.
"I'm ready to get on with my life," Newhouse told Kanawha Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey. He faces 3 to 15 years in prison when Bailey sentences him on the manslaughter charge on Sept. 19.
According to Kanawha County sheriff's deputies, Shaffer called 911 at about 1 a.m. Sept. 27 to report that Newhouse had shot him. Shaffer told an emergency dispatcher that Newhouse was standing over him with a 9 mm handgun.
Newhouse was standing outside waiting for deputies when they arrived on the scene, while Shaffer was inside with a gunshot wound to the abdomen, deputies said. Shaffer was taken to CAMC General Hospital and later died.
Assistant Kanawha County prosecutor Michele Drummond told the judge much of the case relied on the testimony of Shaffer's girlfriend, Christina Burgess, who was at the home during the shooting.
Burgess told police that she and Shaffer had been staying with Newhouse, who she said drank almost every day until he passed out.
Burgess told police she and Shaffer had left the home the day of the shooting because they were arguing. When they returned, Burgess said the door to Newhouse's house was locked, but he let the couple in, Drummond said.