A Council Bluffs man who fatally shot his girlfriend in October has pleaded guilty to lesser charges. John P. Higgins Jr., 18, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and assault with a dangerous weapon in the shooting death of Amber Lynn Parks, 20, at her apartment on 532 Woodbury Ave. Oct. 22.

A Council Bluffs man who fatally shot his girlfriend in October has pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

John P. Higgins Jr., 18, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and assault with a dangerous weapon in the shooting death of Amber Lynn Parks, 20, at her apartment on 532 Woodbury Ave. Oct. 22.

Pottawattamie County Assistant Attorney Chris Wilson said after all parties reviewed the case, it was determined that Higgins should not be charged with first-degree murder as he was initially charged.

"Based on the evidence we had we didn't think it was first-degree murder," Wilson said. "Her family was really against murder in the first. The family is pleased and relieved with the lesser charge. The evidence was inconsistent and there were conflicting stories about what happened. This was an unfortunate deal."

Wilson said he reviewed the case with police and Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber, as well as the Parks family in reaching the decision to offer the lesser charges.

Parks was shot in the upper chest and neck area with a 9 mm rifle in the upstairs bedroom of her apartment. Her 2-year-old son was in the apartment at the time.

Higgins will be sentenced on Feb. 24 and could receive a maximum sentence of seven years, which Wilson said he would ask for.

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