March 05, 2014
BOLIVIA, NC (WWAY) -- The verdict and sentence both came in for a Brunswick County murder trial Tuesday. While the jury convicted Julie Ann English, it was for a lesser charge. And, the victim's family is more than disappointed by that.
Hugs and a baby picture of her son helped Nancy Kaylor deal with a draining and disappointing day.
"I'm not so much disappointed with the verdict, I'm disappointed with what they were allowed to be able to say in Michael's behalf of what went on and what didn't go on," Kaylor said.
The mother of Michael Pate, who was killed nearly two years ago in Supply, told a very different story than the woman accused of murdering him.
"She would drink wine, do cocaine, she would throw stuff at him, she'd curse him. I know what happened in that home. She was as mean as a snake," Kaylor said.
But, English said it was her boyfriend Pate who was that way. At her trial in Brunswick County Court, the 50-year-old testified that during their 11-year relationship, Pate was verbally and physically abusive, especially while drunk or high. On the night of May 27, 2012, English said she snapped after Pate hit her. So, she ran over him with a car.
"From their [the jury] point of view, this tragic thing happened in the heat of passion," said James Payne, the defense attorney for English.
That's why Payne said the jury convicted English of Voluntary Manslaughter and not 2nd Degree Murder.
"What needs to be remembered is she was charged with 2nd Degree Murder and she was able to convince this jury that she's not a murderer," Payne said.
But, Kaylor said she isn't convinced and probably never will be.
"There will never be no real closure to me as long as I live," Kaylor said. "But, that woman, I pray in the name of Jesus that god with convict her for what she's done."
The judge sentenced English to four to six years in prison.