Woman Submits Alford Plea In Hatchet Death

5:39 AM, Jul 6, 2012   |    comments
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(Smithfield, NC)  -- A Selma woman will spend at least six years in prison after taking a plea deal in the hatchet death of a Johnston County man she did housework for and other odd jobs.

Crystal Worley submitted an Alford plea Thursday to voluntary manslaughter, saying she didn't admit to killing 80-year-old James Cooper in June 2010, but she agreed there was enough evidence for prosecutors to prove the charge.

Investigators originally charged Worley with first-degree murder, saying she killed Cooper with a hatchet and stole $526 and a ring from his home.

Prosecutors say they accepted the deal because two witnesses who were drug dealers weren't cooperating and other evidence couldn't be introduced at trial.

Worley was sentenced to six to eight years in prison.

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