UNION TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - An off-duty police officer who fatally shot an acquaintance during a fight outside a New Jersey bar is now headed to state prison.
Joseph Macchia received a six-year sentence on Friday. The 37-year-old Piscataway resident was convicted last month on a reckless manslaughter count by a Union County jury.
Macchia had served on the Newark police force for 11 years before he was indicted in December 2016 and placed on unpaid leave.
Prosecutors say Macchia and Michael Gaffney, also of Piscataway, were at a Union Township bar in May 2016 when they started arguing. The dispute turned physical outside the bar, but ended a few minutes later.
The fight then resumed a short time later. It ended when Macchia fired his service weapon multiple times, killing Gaffney.