Ex-editor pleads guilty; gets probation

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 12, 2003

Former Greenville Newspapers Managing Editor Stacy Killingsworth, 30, pleaded guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor possession of marijuana and was sentenced to one year in the county jail before Judge Ed McFerrin suspended the sentence in lieu to two years supervised probation.

Killingsworth, along with her boyfriend William Mann, 23, were arrested shortly before midnight July 3, 2002 after police served a search warrant on

them at their residence on Hickory Street and discovered a small amount of marijuana, a set of weighing scales and other drug paraphernalia. At the time of their arrest the two were charged with unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, a Class B felony, as well as possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor. The distribution charge came after police officers said undercover informants purchased drugs from the pair.

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Mann pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana first degree, a Class C felony, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison before McFerrin suspended his sentence and ordered three years of supervised probation.

Killingsworth's trial was scheduled for Thursday, but after Mann's trial began District Attorney John Andrews offered to allow both Mann and Killingsworth to plead guilty to lesser charges.

&uot;They really weren't drug pushers in the normal sense,&uot; Andrews said afterward. &uot;They were two young kids who were running with the wrong crowd and tried to do a favor for a friend. I don't think prison would have been the answer in this instance. I feel justice was served.&uot;

Attorney Steve Townes, who represented both Killingsworth and Mann, said that after Mann's trial began, Andrews made an offer to settle both cases.

&uot;My clients were satisfied with the outcome,&uot; he said.