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Woman pleads guilty to voluntary manslaughter

A St. Mary woman who had been accused of killing her husband has pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and armed criminal action.

On Feb. 15, Circuit Court Judge Kenneth W. Pratte sentenced Stephanie Marie Buchanan, 44, to 15 years in prison.

Her trial had been scheduled March 7-9 in St. Francois County on a change of venue from Ste. Genevieve County.

According to police reports, deputies were called to the Buchanan residence on June 29, 2009, and found Donald Buchanan’s body laying face down in a bed. A gun was found on the floor near his body.

At first, Stephanie Buchanan told police the two had wrestled over a pistol and it accidentally discharged, killing her husband.

Later, she told police they had been arguing over money and she purchased the gun at a pawn shop.

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