Woman out of jail after waiting years for trial

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 28, 2012

By Shavonne Potts
A Kannapolis woman who spent 41/2 years in the Rowan County jail awaiting trial on 37 sex offense charges has been released after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Karen Hinson was charged in 2007 with various sex offenses involving a child along with her husband, John Nathaniel Hinson. She had been in the county jail since November 2007, longer than anyone else currently there.
Earlier this month, Hinson was convicted on a number of those offenses and given 48 months of supervised probation and credit for time she’s served in the county jail.
John Hinson has not been scheduled for a trial. He was charged with two counts of indecent liberties with children and four counts felony aiding and abetting. He was arrested in November 2007 and released in December 2007.
The victim was 9 years old when the incidents occurred in 2002 and 2003, court records show.
Karen Hinson was sentenced as part of an Alford plea, in which a defendant can maintain his or her innocence while acknowledging prosecutors have sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction.
She was convicted of 13 counts of felony indecent liberties with a child and 11 other sex offenses.
As part of the plea deal, 11 counts of first-degree sex offense of a child were dismissed.
Hinson was ordered to register as a sex offender. She can’t have contact with a child under 18 unless supervised by an adult. And she must get a substance abuse assessment within 30 days.
Hinson also was ordered to submit to a breath, blood, and urine analysis. She is to take part in Trosa, a substance abuse treatment facility in Durham.
Hinson also has to get a job within 45 days. Her residence has to be approved by her probation officer.
She also has to pay $18,470 in court costs.
Contact Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.