Three people facing possible death penalty take plea - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Three people facing possible death penalty take plea

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Inside the courtroom on Monday. Inside the courtroom on Monday.
Diana Wood and Steve Wood Junior Diana Wood and Steve Wood Junior

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - They faced the death penalty if convicted of murdering a mother and her son at a Shively apartment complex, instead on Monday one of those people is walking free.

It took a week to seat a jury in the murder trial of Laquita Townsend, 32, Marcus Greene, 32, and Zachary Kilgore, 36. Opening statements were set to being Monday, when instead all three pleaded to lesser charges.

A hug and an apology is about all the Wood's left the courthouse with Monday. "I think it's been an emotional morning," said Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Alice Jones. "We prepared for trial and reached a last minute settlement."

Originally police said Townsend went to the Shively apartment in November 2009, lured Diana Wood and Steve Wood Junior outside where Greene and Kilgore shot and killed them both. Diana Wood was hit once in the head. Steve Wood Junior was struck several times. In court, Townsend admitted to helping Greene kill only Diana Wood and assaulting her husband. "She pled to misdemeanors that will result in her being home with her children tonight," said Townsend's attorney Kenyon Meyer. "I think it was a reasonable business decision on her part to take the deal."

Kilgore admitted to helping Greene kill both Steve Wood Junior and his mother. He also pleaded to being a convicted felon with a gun and leaving the scene with the weapons. He will serve five years in prison.

Greene took an Alford plea for the manslaughter of Steve Wood Junior, meaning he doesn't admit to killing him, but knows there's enough evidence to convict him. He also pleaded to manslaughter second degree for the death of Diana Wood. His sentence will likely be 20 years.

Jones said within the last two weeks some facts came out that concerned them, including new inconsistencies with witness statements. "This is an old case. It's been three years people's memories are bound to change."

Greene's sister said it's a plea that allows justice for all. The Wood family had nothing to say after the hearing.

Greene will be formally sentenced in December. Two others charged in connection with the Wood deaths are still awaiting trial.

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