Autumn Wood Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter
FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – A Lauderdale County teenager charged with murder has entered a guilty plea.
Moments ago, Autumn Marie Wood, 19, entered the courtroom of Lauderdale County Circuit Judge Mike Jones and pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly said the plea agreement with Wood includes a sentence of 10 and a half years in a state prison.
According to Connolly, the plea deal came together rather quickly.
Connolly said the family of Brooklyn Hollins talked with him on Wednesday after a motions hearing about the upcoming trial next week.
Connolly said the family was having a hard time dealing with the murder of their daughter and didn’t want to sit through a week-long trial, with an uncertain outcome.
On November 18th, jury selection was scheduled to begin in Wood’s trial.
Wood was arrested in March of 2012 by Florence Police and charged with the stabbing death of Hollins, 14.
According to investigators who worked the case, Wood stabbed Hollins during an argument at a house party in Florence.
After her indictment in October of 2012, Wood pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.
During a recent evaluation by a mental health expert, it was stated in a report that Wood did not suffer from a mental episode when Hollins was murdered.
In the motions hearing on Wednesday, Wood’s attorney Jeff Austin stated that defense was now off the table.
District Attorney Chris Connolly said the 10-and-a-half-year sentence for manslaughter is middle of the road in the state’s sentencing guidelines.
Connolly said Wood will be eligible for early release by a state parole board.
Circuit Judge Mike Jones will hold a sentencing hearing for Wood on December 19 at 1:30 p.m.