Columbus murder trial: Defendant might have pleaded guilty, but only if sentence was probation

A woman facing a murder charge in the death of her daughter’s ex-boyfriend indicated today that she might have pleaded guilty to a lesser charge, though only if she received probation.

Muscogee County Superior Court Chief Judge John Allen asked Assistant District Attorney David Helmick whether the prosecutor had offered Cynthia Sanders, 50, any offer if she pleaded guilty. Helmick said that he’d given no formal offer, but instead asked defense attorney Stacey Jackson if there were any way they could resolve the murder charge by his client pleading to a lesser offense.

Jackson told the judge that the only way his client would plead guilty was if prosecutors reduced the murder accusation to a manslaughter charge and only if she was sentenced to probation. Helmick said he declined that suggestion.

Attorneys are currently selecting a jury in the murder trial of Sanders, who faces accusations that she stabbed 33-year-old Calvin Lee Jones at a School House Drive home on Oct. 25.