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Guilty Plea in Jayne McGowan Murder Case Surprises Family

By: Liz Palka Email
By: Liz Palka Email

January 28, 2010

Michael Stuart Pritchett, whose hearing in the death of Jayne Warren McGowan was supposed to start Thursday, pleaded guilty to five felonies shortly before it began.

This announcement came as a surprise to the McGowan family and prosecutors.

Pritchett pleaded guilty to the capital murder of McGowan, robbery, breaking and entering with intent to commit rape, use of firearm in the commission of a murder, use of a firearm in commission of a robbery and use of a firearm in commission of a breaking and entering.

As a result, Pritchett has been convicted of the same charges as his co-defendant, William Douglas Gentry.

Authorities say there is no plea agreement. Pritchett is facing the possible sentencing of life without parole on the capital murder charge, in addition to mandatory sentences on the gun charges and possible life sentences for the breaking and entering and robbery charges.

A sentencing hearing for Pritchett is tentatively scheduled for May 26.

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