RIVERSIDE – Testimony is expected to wrap up Tuesday in the trial of a Menifee man accused of fatally shooting his 38-year-old girlfriend in the head during an alcohol-fueled altercation in his trailer home.
Adam Michael Starkey, 32, faces 50 years to life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder and a sentence-enhancing gun use allegation in the Jan. 24, 2012, slaying of Jennifer Bowers.
Starkey’s attorney maintains the shooting was accidental.
According to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office, the defendant shot Bowers with a .38-caliber Colt revolver while holding the barrel less than two inches from her forehead.
The couple had been drinking heavily and squabbling throughout the night, by Starkey’s own admission.
He told sheriff’s investigators that at one point he walked out of the single-wide trailer with his pistol and fired all six rounds into the ground in an attempt to release his frustration.
According to Deputy District Attorney Natale Pitre, Starkey went back into the trailer moments later, reloaded the gun, then approached Bowers and allegedly shot her once at point-blank range.
Starkey called 911 and reported the shooting. At the time of his arrest, his blood-alcohol level was .23 — almost three times over the legal limit to drive in California.
Deputy Public Defender Michael Micallef is arguing the gun went off accidentally because of mishandling, including from having the wrong type of ammunition loaded into the chamber.
Starkey and Bowers worked together at a Target store and had been dating for about a year.
The defendant is being held without bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.