FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) —
Jessica Wills could not hold back the tears and neither could her wife Jacqueline. They decided Thursday to end the long drawn out court process and plead to one count of voluntary manslaughter and a stipulated term of three years in prison.
“I think the defense lawyers, in this case, we’re ready to go to trial. But I think that the deal- it was a good deal and they should be satisfied with that,” said Legal Analyst Ralph Torres.
Two years ago the couple was held to answer on charges of murder after a judge determined there was enough evidence to hold them accountable.
Couple tearfully pleads to voluntary manslaughter in stabbing death 4 years ago. Jessica and her wife, Jacqueline Wills are expected to serve 3 years in prison for the death of Brian Santos. pic.twitter.com/j5PaYVaqdu
— Sontaya Rose (@SontayaRose) January 11, 2018
Torres said the case was a gamble and a choice that each defendant had to weigh their options and the potential outcome of spending a lengthy sentence in prison.
“It appears that the reason that they took it is that of the benefit of not having to go to trial. My understanding of the facts of this case is that this was a self-defense case. And this was a strong self-defense case.”
The victim, Brian Santos died after autopsy results showed he was stabbed repeatedly in the chest and then in the back. He was found lying on Shields Avenue lifeless when officers pulled up.
The couple has claimed they were protecting Santos’ girlfriend from being hit and punched when he was killed during a confrontation.
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