Probation for West Side man who accidentally shot friend to death

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James Gonnigan

A West Side man who accidentally fatally shot his friend in the head last year in their North Lawndale home has been sentenced to probation.

James Gonnigan, 27, pleaded guilty to one felony count of involuntary manslaughter on July 15 before Judge Timothy Joseph Joyce, according to Cook County court records.

On Jan. 4, 2015, Gonnigan and 20-year-old Marsalis Homan were playing in the kitchen of their home in the 1300 block of South Kolin Avenue, authorities said.

Others in the house reported hearing Gonnigan and Holman talking and laughing before a single shot rang out, authorities said.

After the shooting, Gonnigan ran into a bedroom and told his girlfriend and her acquaintance that he’d shot Holman, authorities said. They found Holman lying in a pool of blood and someone called 911.

Holman suffered one gunshot wound to the head and was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Hospital, authorities said.

Police found Gonnigan in the living room with five .38-caliber bullets and he was taken into custody. He told investigators he pointed the gun at Holman’s head and accidentally shot him.

Judge Joyce sentenced Gonnigan to six months in the Cook County Jail on Monday, but Gonnigan was released after receiving credit for 681 days served in the jail, where he has been held since his arrest.

He was also sentenced to 30 months of probation, and ordered not to have contact with the victim’s family, according to court records.

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