FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Sharon McGee never believed her father when he said her mother accidentally shot herself to death while threatening suicide 30 years ago.

So late last year, she confronted her father, James O’Neil, and demanded the truth. Her father told her a story vastly different than the one he told her – and detectives – decades ago.

According to court documents, O’Neil told his daughter her mother was threatening to kill herself. She pulled out a gun and he wrested it away from her. Verna O’Neil then said she wanted to die and her husband responded: “Let me show you how it’s done” and pulled the trigger.

McGee kept her father’s confession a secret for several months before going to police earlier this year, according to court documents. On Thursday, O’Neil, now 83, was charged with manslaughter. He was released Friday on $50,000 bail.

According to an arrest affidavit written by Palm Beach County sheriff’s Detective Paige McCann, Verna O’Neil died on July 23, 1987, from a gunshot to her face. She was 50.

James O’Neil told investigators that night that he and his wife had been arguing over her excessive drinking and his burnt dinner. He told them she was sitting on the couch when she pulled their handgun, a .357 Magnum, from beneath the cushion. He jumped on her to try to pull the revolver away and in the ensuing struggle it went off, killing her.

Sheriff’s investigators classified her death as a suicide. It remained that way until McGee went to the sheriff’s office in February.

She told detectives she was 28 when her mother died and had never believed her father’s story. Last October, she said, she confronted him. He told McGee he had wrested the gun from her mother and then asked his wife what she wanted, according to court documents. He told McGee her mother replied that she wanted to die, so he said, “Let me show you how it’s done.”

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