Tuesday, March 25, 2014
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A 74-year-old California woman is free after serving 32 years of a life sentence for her role in a 1981 killing.
The Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/Qb7UGr ) reports that Mary Virginia Jones walked out of a Southern California prison late Monday and was met by family and friends.
Jones was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole for a killing committed alongside boyfriend Mose Willis, who died on death row.
She has always maintained that Willis forced her to help him at gunpoint, and law students at USC took up her case.
Prosecutors conducted a new investigation and agreed to accept a plea of no contest for involuntary manslaughter.
Earlier Monday, a judge ruled Jones had served well over the 11-year maximum sentence for the lesser crime and ordered her freed.