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A man accused of killing his neighbor in 2015 will be sentenced for negligent homicide after he pleaded guilty on Thursday. 

Jose Pedro Cobos, 64, entered his plea in Yellowstone County District Court for a deal with prosecutors, who will recommend a five-year prison sentence.

Cobos' attorneys are suggesting a three-year sentence with credit for time served, according to a plea agreement.

Cobos faced the possibility of deliberate homicide in the October 2015 shooting death of his neighbor, Mark Kirby. The two were drinking in Cobos' garage late into the night.

Court documents that accompanied Cobos' guilty plea include a written admission, in which he says, "I have no clear memory of what occurred, but I mishandled my .45-caliber Kimber semi-automatic, causing it to discharge and kill Mark Kirby."

It also says that "Mark Kirby did nothing that would have caused or contributed to the circumstances of his death." Initial charging documents said that Cobos told Kirby's wife that Kirby attacked him.

Court documents have said that Cobos has received treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. His plea deal stipulates that he continue that treatment and seek a chemical dependency evaluation.

Sentencing will be set at a later date.


General Assignment Reporter

Reporter for The Billings Gazette.