DES MOINES — A woman accused of killing her stepfather in Des Moines has pleaded guilty. Sera Alexander, 29, pleaded Wednesday to involuntary manslaughter and reckless use of a firearm in the May death of 49-year-old Anthony Hartmann. In exchange, prosecutors dropped a second-degree murder charge against Alexander, whose trial began earlier this week.
Had Alexander been convicted of the more serious count, she would have faced up to 50 years in prison. Now, she faces up to 15 years.
The deal comes after a judge refused to let Alexander use Iowa’s new “stand your ground” defense. Her attorney has said family members reported that Hartmann had a history of abuse toward them. Police have said Hartmann didn’t threaten or hurt Alexander immediately before he was shot.