WEST BATH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A man from Thomaston was ordered Monday to serve 2.5 years in prison for accidentally shooting and killing his girlfriend last year.

Dylan Grubbs pleaded guilty to domestic violence reckless conduct with a firearm. In exchange for the plea, the state dropped a manslaughter charge.

Grubbs shot his girlfriend, the mother of his two children, at the Shaws parking lot in Bath while exchanging a handgun for a rifle with another man. Grubbs thought he had emptied the gun, but there was one round left in the chamber.

“He then removed the magazine believing the gun was now safe, but in essence, it wasn’t," prosecutor Leane Zainea said. "The gun was loaded."

Twenty-two-year-old Chelsea Jones was struck in the head. She died in the hospital two days later. Jones' father told the court he hoped the case would shine a light on the safe handling of firearms so no other family has to go through something like this.

“The gun never should have been loaded," Thomas Jones said. "The man holding it did not know how to handle the gun or had been taught about gun safety."

Even though the words "domestic violence" were part of the charge, there was no history of it in this case. The wording was included because the defendant and the victim were domestic partners.