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Man convicted of firing stray bullet that killed woman at Father’s Day barbecue

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BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — A jury has found a 34-year-old man guilty to firing a stray bullet that killed a woman at a Father’s Day barbecue near Bellingham.

The Bellingham Herald reports (https://goo.gl/kwWAlg ) Nickolas Zylstra was found guilty Monday of second-degree manslaughter for causing a death with criminal negligence. He was acquitted of first-degree manslaughter.

Prosecutors say Zylstra and four friends went target shooting on the east bank of the Nooksack River three years ago when 23-year-old Alyssa Smith of Ferndale was shot and killed.

Prosecutors say the guns used belonged to Zylstra and everyone took turns shooting.

Prosecutors say Zylstra fired a bullet from an AK-47-style rifle that killed Smith, and could have killed others, on the other side of the river.

The defense argued there was no way to prove who fired the fatal bullet.