Ronald Pickett released in Vanessa McGee Murder Case

Ronald Pickett was ordered released from jail today where he was being held on suspicion of second-degree murder in the death of his fiance Vanessa McGee.

Pickett appeared in court wearing an orange jumpsuit for a preliminary hearing Thursday morning. Detective Carter Adams said Pickett told police that he accidentally shot McGee at their Southeast D.C. home early in the morning of March 5. According to Pickett, the two were arguing and he decided to stay the night elsewhere. While packing his belongings he picked up the gun and accidentally fired it when he was pushed or he tripped. The bullet struck McGee in the shoulder, killing her, authorities said.

Judge Gerald Fisher did not find probable cause for the second-degree murder charge prosecutors were seeking. Instead he found cause for a charge of manslaughter and, after determining that Pickett did not pose a danger to society, released him on his personal recognizance.

There was an argument, but it’s not like he was arming himself for the argument,” Fisher said.

A status hearing is scheduled in the case for May 18. Charging documents in the case are here.

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