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Published: Tuesday, 4/21/2009

Not-guilty pleas entered in slaying of woman

A Toledo man charged in the shooting death of his live-in girlfriend pleaded not guilty in Lucas County Common Pleas Court Monday to alternate charges of murder and reckless homicide.

Donald Traviss, 36, of 2575 Eastgate Rd., Apt. 12, is accused of killing Melanie Golden, 35. Ms. Golden was found in the couple s home with a gunshot wound to her head.

If convicted of murder, Mr. Traviss faces up to life in prison. A negligent-homicide charge carries a maximum of five years in prison. Judge Gene Zmuda ordered Mr. Traviss held on $300,000 bond and set a May 11 pretrial date.

Police responded to a call at 12:40 a.m. April 17 on a report of a suicide. When they arrived at the apartment complex, police found a disoriented Mr. Traviss saying, She s shot.

Mr. Traviss later confessed to shooting Ms. Golden, saying that the two had a quarrel, police said.

He also told police he took the gun from her after she pointed it at him, and he didn t know it was loaded.

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