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Woman accepts plea deal in second-degree murder, DWI case

A woman accused of driving under the influence and causing a fatal pedestrian accident has recently pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. The North Carolina woman was reportedly high on drugs and texting while driving when she hit the 75-year-old pedestrian, causing her fatal injuries. In her plea deal, other charges -- including DWI -- were dropped.

Early in February, the woman was driving her SUV in Belmont. She was purportedly high on prescription medication, and the authorities suspect that she was also texting as she drove. She supposedly swerved off the road and hit trash cans and a fence before running into the pedestrian who was taking a walk.

During the trial, the woman admitted to driving under the influence, and she expressed deep remorse for her actions. She was offered a plea deal, and she decided to take it. Under the stipulations of her plea agreement, the woman admitted that she was on parole for a previous DWI charge at the time of the accident. All other charges, including DWI and various traffic violations, were dropped when she pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. She faces a minimum of 14 years of imprisonment at the time of her sentencing.

When the average North Carolina citizen hears that a plea deal has been offered in a criminal case, that citizen will typically assume that the plea agreement will help the accused in a huge way. In considering whether to take the plea deal, the offer must be weighed against the right to defend against the second-degree murder and DWI case in court. The decision is ultimately up to the accused person, and in this case, she presumably felt that the prosecution's offer was her best option in her criminal defense.

Source: wbtv.com, "Deadly DWI and texting case ends with plea deal", Pamela Escobar, April 7, 2014

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