A Massachusetts steelworker has pleaded guilty in his former girlfriend's death.

Prosecutors charged 40-year-old Phillip Byrd with first-degree intentional homicide in April. They believe he shot 43-year-old Cheryl Gilberg during a struggle at her Mazomanie home in February.

Investigators wrote in court documents that Byrd told them he and Gilberg had magical chemistry together until she stuck her revolver in his mouth. He knocked the gun out of his mouth and tackled her; the gun went off twice as they wrestled. He saw Gilberg lying on the floor, thought she was still alive and got frightened. He fled to another woman's trailer.

Byrd pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree intentional homicide in a deal with prosecutors Thursday. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and 20 years of extended supervision.