An Odenton woman originally charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of her abusive husband entered a plea to second-degree murder in exchange for a 10-year prison sentence.
Donna Mills Wood, 39, last week entered an Alford plea – meaning she conceded there was evidence to convict her but did not admit guilt – to second-degree murder, reports CapitalGazette.com. Wood entered the plea in the death of her husband, Jerome Vorden Wood, inside their home on Pine Cove Avenue in November 2012.
Jerome Wood died on Nov. 6, 2012, from injuries to the upper torso, Patch earlier reported.
Assistant State's Attorney Pamela Alban on Tuesday told the newspaper prosecutors reached a plea agreement with Donna Wood because of Jerome Wood's history of domestic violence, Donna Wood's lack of criminal history, and because they didn't want to risk "what a jury might do."
"It's not an easy thing to stand up here in a homicide case and only ask the court to impose 10 years,” Alban told the Capital-Gazette.
Public defender Elizabeth Palan said Donna Wood stabbed her husband to death in self-defense.
A judge imposed a 30-year sentence, suspending all but 10 years, partly because of the varying accounts Wood gave to investigators and doctors while talking about the stabbing.
The couple's three children were in the home at the time of the stabbing, the judge said, but they didn't report hearing a fight before the stabbing.
One of the children is now 18 years old and the other two are in foster care.
On the day of the stabbing, Donna Wood called 911 and reported her husband tried to kill himself with a self-inflicted stab would. She later told authorities Jerome was high on drugs and attacked her, so she stabbed him in self defense.
Donna Wood’s attorney said Jerome was high on heroin before the confrontation and punched his wife while he held a knife. Toxicology reports showed cocaine in his system.