Drug-related murder case ends in guilty plea

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Kanawha County woman admitted in court Friday that she committed what prosecutors described as a “heinous” crime.

Jessica May Wilson, 28, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the Jan. 4, 2014 death of St. Albans resident Nancy Lynch. Lynch, 66, was stabbed to death over money and drugs.

“Anytime someone loses their life it’s tragic, but particularly an older lady who lives alone who is completely defenseless, completely helpless, who is overcome by two people who are on drugs and looking for a quick fix,” Kanawha County Assistant Prosecutor Tera Salango told MetroNews following Friday’s hearing.

Wilson and co-defendant Timothy Paul Shafer, 29, considered Lynch an easy target according to Salango. The pair went to Lynch’s home and when they didn’t find her there they waited across the street at a bus stop until she returned home. Salango said a neighbor saw what happened next.

“She (Lynch) grabbed her dog and ran into her house and Jessica Wilson and Timothy Shafer were running right behind her,” Salango said.

The evidence at the trial, which was supposed to begin next Monday, would have included testimony from the previously convicted Shaffer that it was Wilson who stabbed Lynch repeatedly. After the murder, Shafer returned to Lynch’s house several times–while her body was still there–with a third defendant, Megan Marie Hughes, to steal other items.

Wilson told Kanawha County Circuit Judge Duke Bloom Friday the intention was to rob Lynch not kill her. She blamed the death on Shafer.

“He started hitting on her and then he stabbed her,” Wilson said. “I didn’t know he was going to kill her.”

Wilson faces life in prison at her May 7 sentencing. Salango said prosecutors would stand silent at sentencing. Bloom has already sentenced Shafer to life with no chance for parole. Hughes was sentenced to 1-15 years behind bars.

Salango said the tragic case tells an all-too-familiar story in Kanawha County where those hooked on drugs will do anything to get more drugs.

“They were basically coming down off of their high, out of drugs, out of money,” she said.

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