BENTON - A woman who admitted to shooting her husband during a drunken argument received a year's worth of jail time Monday in Marshall County.
Rhonda Seaford of Calvert City was originally charged with murder after shooting her husband in the back in November. Seaford took a plea deal with the commonwealth this month, pleading guilty to second-degree manslaughter with a state-recommended sentence of 10 years. Circuit Judge Dennis Foust agreed Monday to an alternative sentence, sentencing her to 365 days in jail and probation for five years.
Second-degree manslaughter is considered a non-violent offense, so Seaford would have been eligible for a parole board hearing after serving 20 percent of her sentence, or two years. Foust said he was hesitant to conditionally discharge Seaford completely because of the seriousness of the crime.
"Guns and alcohol do not mix," Foust said. "I don't think what happened here was something that was intended. In a lot of ways, it's something that just simply should not have happened. There has to be consequences."
Seaford and her husband, Jay Seaford, were drinking the night of Nov. 3, according to toxicology reports. Rhonda Seaford told police her husband picked up a gun and fired two shots into the floor before walking away. She then picked up the gun and shot him in the back as he was walking away. The couple's 13-year-old son was in the house and called the police.
Toxicology reports read at Seaford's preliminary hearing showed she had a blood-alcohol content of .104 about two hours after the shooting.
Jay Seaford's blood alcohol content was .217.
"In ways, what you have experienced probably needs to be shared," Foust said. "There is absolutely no reason for what happened to be totally in vain. I want you to make the most of what is a bad situation. It may help someone else."
Contact Corianne Egan, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8652 or follow @CoriEgan on Twitter.