A Jackson County jury convicted a Kansas City man late Wednesday of involuntary manslaughter in the Aug. 22, 2011, killing of his mother-in-law.
But jurors found Michael S. Tittone, 28, not guilty of armed criminal action and decided that he should be punished with a fine, rather than imprisonment, a prosecutor’s spokesman said.
A judge will determine the fine at sentencing.
Tittone originally was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Pamela J. Groves, 52, in a home they shared in the 3500 block of St. John Avenue.
In testimony Tuesday, Tittone said Groves often became abusive and violent when she had been drinking. On that evening, he was afraid that she might again threaten him with a large knife that his defense lawyer showed the jury.
Tittone said he pointed a handgun at Groves and ordered her to her room. She then punched him in the throat and he lost his balance, he said.
“I can’t tell you if I pulled the trigger or if it happened while I stumbled backward,” Tittone said.
Tittone became emotional during his testimony, weeping as he described his long and conflicted relationship with Groves.
“She was like a father to me in a weird way,” Tittone said. “I loved that woman. I didn’t want this to happen.”