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Melbourne Man Jailed For Shooting American Fiancee

A Melbourne man who fatally shot his American fiancee while the pair were on the run deep in the Victorian bush has been jailed for 11 years.

Steven Con Samaras, 50, and Tamara Turner, 49, were on the run for smuggling firearms when he unintentionally shot her in the abdomen during a late-night struggle in their caravan.

The bullet hit Ms Turner's aorta and she swiftly bled to death in dense woodland south of Mildura in June 2016.

Samaras gave some futile first aid and hours later placed Ms Turner's body on a bench outside Mildura Base Hospital, giving nurses a false name before taking off in his Jeep.

He later lied to police about what happened, claiming Ms Turner had accidentally shot herself and buried the gun herself.

Eight months earlier, Samaras met Ms Turner on Facebook and proposed within only two hours of meeting. He asked the Missouri mother-of-two to move to Australia, and she agreed.

They also arranged to post four guns to his Melbourne address from Ms Turner's ex-partner's US gun shop.

But three guns were intercepted by Australian Border Force officers, sparking a police investigation that led to the pair being charged with gun importation.

The pair were released on bail and decided to go on the run, buying a caravan and evading authorities for months until Ms Turner was shot.

Samaras was jailed in the Supreme Court on Friday for at least eight years after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

Justice Andrew Tinney said Samaras had not meant to shoot or kill Ms Turner but the judge slammed his "selfish" lies and actions after her death.

"Your selfish behaviour revealed only a concern for yourself," Justice Tinney said.

"Your failure to seek immediate assistance for her betrayed a disturbing lack of concern and regard for her, which is at odds with your claim of having loved her."

Samaras was sentenced to 11 years in prison with a non-parole period of eight years.

He had originally been charged with murder but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.


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