A Delhi man who fatally shot his girlfriend in the face last week has been charged with voluntary manslaughter.
Fabio Mendonca pleaded not guilty during his brief arraignment hearing Monday in Merced County Superior Court.
He's accused of killing his fiancée, Mirisa Dinwiddie of Hilmar, age 20. Mendonca's family members said the July 4 shooting was an accident.
Prosecutors with the Merced County district attorney's office decided to file the voluntary manslaughter charge against Mendonca because of the "criminal negligence" involved in the shooting, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney John Goold.
Goold added that a shotgun was used in the crime, although no "malice aforethought" or "implied malice" was present to support a murder charge.
The voluntary manslaughter charge includes an enhancement for use of a firearm. If convicted, Mendonca faces a maximum of 21 years in prison.