Eric Coulter convicted of manslaughter in fatal shooting of girlfriend

CHANDLER, AZ - A Chandler man has been convicted of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of his girlfriend in 2011.

Maricopa County prosecutors say a jury found 20-year-old Eric Coulter guilty Monday after less than three days of deliberations.

They say Coulter faces a prison term of between seven to 21 years when he's sentenced on April 26.

Coulter was arrested on suspicion of fatally shooting 18-year-old Monique Cota in his bedroom on Oct. 15, 2011.

Investigators say Coulter had assaulted Cota in an earlier incident.

Coulter claimed the shooting was an accident that occurred as he was inspecting an AR-15 rifle.

Police say Coulter's sister then hid guns that were in the house and drove him to the motel room in Mesa.

Coulter was later arrested at the hotel.

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