OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma man managed to avoid prison time after pleading guilty Wednesday to two counts of first-degree manslaughter in the death of his pregnant wife.
Prosecutors initially charged Justin Adams with first-degree murder for the slaying of Jaymie Adams but later reduced that to manslaughter after another man was charged in her death.
Authorities alleged that Jaymie Adams, who was about eight weeks pregnant when she died, was engaging in prostitution and that Justin Adams contributed to her death by driving her to meet a client on the night she was killed.
On Wednesday, Justin Adams pleaded guilty to the manslaughter charges and received two 10-year suspended sentences. He was released from custody under a plea deal reached with prosecutors. Adams had already spent six months in jail.
His attorney, Irven Box, said Adams entered the guilty plea because he did not want to face a jury and risk more time in custody. Adams declined to comment after Wednesday’s hearing.
“He told me he didn’t trust the system,” Box said.
Adams has maintained his innocence in the death of his wife, who disappeared Dec. 10, 2011. Her body was discovered Jan. 7, 2012, and an autopsy found that she had been stabbed 29 times.
“We said from the start that they had the wrong man,” Box said.
But District Attorney David Prater noted that Justin Adams admitted to investigators that he and Jaymie Adams used Craigslist ads to solicit sex. The prostitution business “ultimately lead to his wife’s death though he wasn’t directly involved in her murder,” Prater said.
Another man, Joseph Cyr, is now charged with murder in Adams’ death. Cyr has pleaded not guilty and is due in court March 5 for a preliminary hearing.
Adams’ mother, Tina Clarke, said her son pleaded guilty to avoid the expense and risk of a trial.
The “justice system let him down two years ago and I’m afraid if we went to court now, then the justice system would fail him again,” Clarke said.
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