KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A man will spend decades behind bars for shooting his girlfriend in the head and claiming she killed herself.

Timothy Dion Wells, 47, was found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to 22 years in prison according to the Knox County District Attorney General.

According to the release, investigators recovered text messages sent by Wells to another woman stating that he would prefer to be in a relationship with her instead of the victim.

Mug courtesy of the Knox County Sheriff’s Department

Wells murdered his girlfriend on March 31, 2019. Originally, Wells told investigators his girlfriend committed suicide, but later changed his story to say that he accidentally shot her in the head while testing the safety on his handgun, according to District Attorney General’s release.

In the trial, Knoxville Police Sgt. Brian Dalton, an expert in Forensic Toolmark Analysis and Firearm Incident Reconstruction, testified it was unlikely an accidental discharge of the firearm had occurred. He also testified that the trajectory of the bullet aligned more with a point and shoot scenario.

Wells was sentenced to 22 years without the possibility of parole.