A Riley County jury on Thursday found a 22-year-old Manhattan woman originally from Texas guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the 2018 death of her boyfriend.
Gregoria Baez was charged with second-degree murder in the death of 21-year-old Felix Florez, a former Geary County correctional officer. Florez died Sept. 22, 2018 after being shot below his right eye.
The Manhattan Mercury reports that jurors were shown a video in court Wednesday where Baez claimed the shooting was accidental, the result of the two joking around, pulling guns on each other. In the video, Baez reportedly said it was common for Florez to jokingly pull the gun from his holster when off duty. But when her gun was in hand Baez told police she somehow accidentally disengaged the safety, firing the fatal shot at Florez.
Judge John Bosch informed the jury that it had the option of convicting Baez of the lesser charge, involuntary manslaughter if they couldn’t find her guilty of second-degree murder. Prosecutors in the case had pushed for the more serious charge as a result of Baez’s reckless behavior with the gun.
Sentencing has been scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Nov. 12.