Man Strikes Plea Deal In Greenville Murder

There's been a plea deal in the 2009 murder of a Greenville woman.

Markelby Ward pleaded guilty this morning to the reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter. The 23-year-old man was sentenced to serve between 5-1/2 and 7-1/2 years in prison.

Killed was Lorraine Pearson in front of her home on Raleigh Avenue in August 2009.

A lawyer for Ward says his client confronted Pearson because he thought she had called police about shots being fired. The lawyer says Ward pushed the 47-year-old woman and she took out a razor blade. That's when Ward hit her on the head with his gun, and the lawyer claims it accidentally went off.

Both prosecutors and Ward's attorney says there was a witness to the shooting, but no one can find him.

Pearson's brother and mother spoke to the judge during the hearing. Both said the death was an accident and that Ward did not mean to kill her.

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