Muskegon man, 70, charged with manslaughter in death of his girlfriend

Wade Otha, Jr.

MUSKEGON, Mich. – A 70-year-old man is accused of accidentally shooting and killing his girlfriend in Muskegon last week.

Otha Lee Wade, Jr. was arraigned Monday on a charge of involuntary manslaughter, according to Muskegon County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Timothy Maat.

The incident happened Friday night at about 11:00 p.m. at their home in the 2100 block of Wood Street. Wade had apparently just purchased a semi-automatic handgun and after removing the magazine, he pointed the gun at the refrigerator and fired. The gun was still loaded and his girlfriend, Wilma Roberson, 71, was struck by the bullet in the chest.

Police who responded performed CPR on Roberson until an ambulance arrived.  Roberson was pronounced dead at a local hospital.  She and Wade had been in a relationship for fifty years.

Wade faces 15 years in prison if convicted, but could face more because of a prior conviction in 1998 for assault with a dangerous weapon in Kent County.

Maat tells FOX 17 that the investigation is still continuing.

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