Charges Lowered for Woman Accused of Killing Stepfather

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DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Charges against a Des Moines woman accused of killing her stepfather were downgraded on Friday.

A judge lowered Sera Alexander's charge to second degree murder, determining there was no pre-meditation. Alexander admits she shot and killed 49-year-old Anthony Hartmann last May, but claims it was done in self defense.

Her trial is set for next month. If convicted, Alexander faces up to 50 years in prison.