Plea bargain reached in retrial of Gillespie
Jury selection in the murder retrial of Marion Preston Gillespie ended abruptly today.
Officials announced a plea deal has been agreed reached and Gillespie will plead guilty to second-degree murder. Under the North Carolina structured sentencing he could receive 12-20 years in prison.
The jurors and perspective jurors were sent home around 2 p.m.
Gillespie is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in Rowan County Superior Court.
He was originally sentenced in 2004 to life in prison for the stabbing death of 50-year-old Linda Faye Patterson Smith in 2003.
In 2008, the N.C. Supreme Court ordered a new trial for Gillespie, ruling that the judge in the original trial should have allowed the jury to hear testimony related to Gillespie’s mental health.