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crimesider

Hatchet death ends in plea deal for NC woman, 6 to 8 years in prison

A small, rusty hatchet
iStockphoto
Selma, NC woman was accused of killing man, 80, with a hatchet; she was sentenced to 6 to 8 years in prison.
iStockphoto
(CBS/AP) SMITHFIELD, N.C. - A North Carolina woman will spend at least six years in prison after taking a plea deal in the hatchet death of a Johnston County man she did housework for, and other odd jobs.

Crystal Worley submitted an Alford plea Thursday to voluntary manslaughter, meaning she doesn't admit to killing 80-year-old James Cooper in June 2010, but that she agrees there's enough evidence for prosecutors to prove the charge.

Investigators originally charged Worley with first-degree murder, saying she killed Cooper with a hatchet and stole $526 and a ring from his home.

Prosecutors say they accepted the deal because two witnesses who were drug dealers weren't cooperating and other evidence couldn't be introduced at trial.

Worley was sentenced to six to eight years in prison.