COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — A Columbus man facing murder charges in the 2021 shooting death of his girlfriend entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge Friday afternoon.

Dexter Potts, 27, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault in the death of 31-year-old Tunuska Jackson in their apartment off Torch Hill Road.

Superior Court Judge John Martin sentenced Potts to 30 years in prison – 25 to serve. He received 20 years on the manslaughter conviction and an additional five years on the aggravated assault.

Jackson left five children who were at home at the time of the shooting.

Jackson’s mother Tracy Shipp looked emotional in the courtroom on Friday.

“She wasn’t no street girl. My baby. She was my only daughter. Your honor, that was my only daughter. And he took my baby from me. Me and my kids,” Shipp said. “I have made peace with God. God done gave me justice. But it’s hard. I ain’t going to lie.“

On March 9, Police Sgt. Thomas Hill told the court Potts and Jackson got into an argument about another woman around midnight.

During a Recorder’s Court hearing two years ago, Hill said that Jackson’s 13-year-old daughter entered the room where the two were arguing. After leaving the room, Jackson’s daughter heard the gun go off.

Authorities say Jackson suffered one gunshot wound to the head and Potts suffered a gunshot wound in his left hand. Potts said that he did not mean to kill Jackson. 

If Potts had gone to trial and been convicted of murder, he was facing the possibility of life in prison without parole.