A Florida Panhandle woman has pleaded no contest and accepted a 40-year prison sentence for killing her boyfriend and living in a house with his body for several days.
Authorities say 42-year-old Melissa Kristine Kennedy accepted the plea deal Thursday. She was arrested last October after Bay County sheriff's deputies found her in a truck outside the home where she had been caring for her 59-year-old boyfriend Clifford Lewis. Lewis had been diagnosed with lung cancer.
The Panama City News Herald reports defense attorney Kim Jewell says she had offered Kennedy a range of defenses, including insanity and the possibility that someone else killed Lewis. Kennedy chose the plea deal.
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Authorities say Lewis was shot twice and his body was decomposing. Kennedy told investigators he had abused her for years.