Woman Admits to Involuntary Manslaughter for Fatal Shooting of Boyfriend in Canoga Park

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A woman who shot and killed her boyfriend in the parking lot of a Canoga Park bar last year in what she claimed was an accident pleaded no contest Friday to a charge of involuntary manslaughter, authorities said.

Reyanna Villarreal, 24, of Newhall is expected to be sentenced to five years in state prison when she returns to court for sentencing later this month under a negotiated plea arrangement, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a written statement.

She fatally shot 20-year-old Jose Mendoza on March 5, 2017, as the two were in a parking lot outside a bar in the 22000 block of Roscoe Boulevard, officials said. He was taken to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Prosecutors initially charged Villarreal with murder, along with the special allegation of personally using a firearm in the crime. She could have faced 40 years to life in prison if she had been convicted as originally charged.

Villarreal has stated that the shooting was unintentional, District Attorney’s Office spokesman Paul Eakins said.

“According to testimony at the preliminary hearing, there were no witnesses to the shooting,” he said. “The defendant called 911 and requested help, stating that the shooting was an accident.”

“Friends of the couple testified that they hadn’t heard any arguments between the defendant and the victim that evening,” Eakins added.

Sentencing for Villarreal was scheduled for Jan. 22 in the San Fernando Branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.

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