HAZARD – A plea deal announced in court on Thursday could result in a Perry County woman spending up to 25 years in prison, though a victim in the case said she has concerns about the potential for early release.
The agreement would have 21-year-old Lilli N. Hurt, of Bonnyman, plead guilty to amended charges of second-degree robbery, three counts of second-degree assault, and one count of third-degree assault in exchange for a maximum of 25 years to serve. She was originally charged with first-degree robbery and three counts of attempted murder, and under the agreement announced on Thursday would be eligible for parole in less than 10 years.
Hurt appeared in Perry Circuit Court on Thursday, where one of the victims, Raedawnua Slone, said she wanted Hurt to spend at least 10 years in prison, and her release before that time would not constitute an appropriate sentence.
“She’s destroyed my life,” Slone said. “I think she should stay 25 years, not get out on parole in five years. What’s five years?”
Hurt was arrested on Sept. 27, 2012, after she was alleged to have entered the Grapevine BP station on Highway 15 and attempted to take money from the cash register. She was also alleged to have stabbed two people, including Slone, and attempted to stab another before fleeing the business. Police later located Hurt and placed her under arrest, but not before she allegedly assaulted a state trooper.
Judge William Engle noted that neither he nor Commonwealth’s Attorney John Hansen have control over whether Hurt will be granted parole once she is eligible. He said he was inclined to accept the agreement and make a final decision at the time of sentencing, but after Slone expressed her reservations about the agreement he suggested delaying the hearing until next week.
Engle ordered the second victim in the case, Keshia Miller, be subpoenaed to appear for the hearing on Sept. 12, at which time he will consider both victims’ statements and any arguments from the attorneys before he makes a decision on accepting the plea.
Hurt, meanwhile, is currently lodged in the Kentucky River Regional Jail in Hazard.