MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Nearly nine months after entering her plea of not guilty to murder, an Albertville woman has now agreed to a “blind” guilty plea to the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Leslie K. Sims, 41, was charged with intentional murder in November 2021 after confessing to killing 32-year-old Jana Miller Chatman of Douglas during an interview with police.
Authorities were investigating Chatman’s death after her body was found lying in a ditch next to a crashed vehicle on Dixie Dale Road on November 5. Investigators reportedly found several bullet shell casings at the scene.
Sims was indicted by a Marshall County Grand Jury on February 16, 2022, court documents show.
Following her alleged confession, Sims was taken to the Albertville City Jail and placed on a $1 million bond. Investigators have not yet released a possible motive.
Within the plea deal, Sims will agree to waive her rights. However, the formal ruling and acceptance of her plea will be delayed until her sentencing hearing.
There also won’t be any agreement as to whether her sentence will be set according to a statutory scheme or voluntary sentencing guidelines.
According to court records, a pre-sentence investigation will be performed with an additional report prepared by the adult probation department.
A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for May 1 at the Marshall County Courthouse.