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Posted June 8, 2012 | comments 9 Comments

Woman gets 15-year sentence in double murder and drug case

By Joe Beck -- jbeck@nvdaily.com

A Winchester woman convicted of murdering her husband and a friend by poisoning them was sentenced Thursday in Frederick County Circuit Court to a total of 15 years in prison.

Retired Judge Ann Simpson imposed a full prison sentence of 60 years on Rebecca Mae Jolley, 46, of 1308 Baker Lane, Winchester but suspended all but five years on each of the two felony murder counts. Simpson also sentenced Jolley to a total of five years for two counts of distribution of fentanyl, a synthetic painkiller she gave to both victims. As with the felony murder counts, the five-year sentence came after Simpson suspended much of the full 20-year sentence on the two drug counts.

Jolley pleaded guilty earlier this year to the felony murder and drug counts. The victims included her husband, George L. Jolley, 48, also of 1308 Baker Lane, and a friend, Joseph W. Smith, 48, of 1272 Carpers Pike, Gore. George Jolley died Oct. 2, 2010 after taking the fentanyl, and Smith died 10 days later also from a reaction to fentanyl.

Rebecca Jolley's plea agreement with the prosecution prevented Simpson from imposing an active sentence of more than 15 years. The defendant could have received a maximum of 80 years on the two murder counts, according to state law.

The agreement also allowed Jolley to enter an "Alford plea" to the felony murder and drug charges. An Alford plea allows a defendant to insist they are innocent while admitting the evidence is strong enough for a judge or jury to find her guilty.

Commonwealth's Attorney Glenn Williamson said at the plea hearing in April that law enforcement had assembled evidence showing George Jolley was found dead in a recliner at his home on Oct. 2.

Toxicology reports on George Jolley and Smith showed both died from lethal doses of fentanyl, Williamson said. Smith had 100 times above the limit of fentanyl considered lethal in his system, and George Jolley registered double the same limit, according to the toxicology reports on both men. Fentanyl is classified as a painkiller with similarities to morphine but more powerful.

Williamson said the prosecution would show that Rebecca Jolley could obtain fentanyl through her mother, who had a prescription for the drug. Williamson said investigators discovered fentanyl patches missing from a box in the Jolley residence.

Williamson said investigators learned through Smith's sister that she and her brother went to Rebecca Jolley's house on Oct. 12. The sister remained in their vehicle while her brother entered the home and returned after 15 minutes, Williamson said. After they returned to Smith's sister home, Joseph Smith complained of sickness and went to lie down in a room, where he eventually died, Williamson said.

Williamson said he had tape-recorded evidence showing that Rebecca Jolley admitted to a boyfriend jailed at the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center that she was involved in both deaths. The prosecution identified Joseph Smith as a former boyfriend of Jolley's.

9 Comments | Leave a comment

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    So she murdered two people and serves 15 yrs? Um....seriously? What a joke.

    Seriously, 15 years for two murders and drug distribution?
    You can't blame the judge when guidelines for sentencing were followed, so who do we blame?
    How about the prosecutor for taking the easy way out - a plea bargain.
    This is the kind of pathetic judicial practice that makes crime so appealing to perpetrators.

    This is an OUTRAGE! KILL 2 people, admit guilt, get off say 5 years for good behavior and your out in 10 years. That's just great, our lives are worth 5 years. She'll be home to meet with her now imprisoned boy friend before she is 56!

    Our 'judicial system' is broken putting us a great RISK. Wake up citizens, this is a major OUTRAGE!!!

    Typical NVD story that misses the point. She and the guys were probably using the drugs to get high. 2 overdosed. She admitted "involvement", but no intent to kill. Felony murder charge results from drug deal. Trial? Jury may have had a doubt.

    Remember people, they VOLUNTARILY took the drugs. Murder is a little harsh, distribution, ABSOLUTELY! I agree that our court system here is way too lax, but murder is a bit much in this situation. However, she definitely deserved to be punished for distribution of a controlled substance and involuntary manslaughter.

    Um, well she sold/gave drugs to bottom end humans who injested them and died. Be happy they are gone and you do not have to pay, in one way or the other, for their pathetic existence. She is not a murderer. She gave them the gun and they shot theirselves. Good riddens. Bottom line. The only reason I am happy she will be gone is she can't break into my house to support her habit. Would have been better if she clocked out too!

    Hey, Rusty, were you in the jury room for the Bradley trial? I was. Maybe you need to keep the judgements to yourself since you don't know how difficult it is to get 12 people to agree on sentencing. I am so sick of people throwing that case up and whining about how much time he got. Serve your civic duty and sit in a jury room with 12 people from all walks of life, with different views and backgrounds, given slanted testimony from emotional witnesses and slimy lawyers and see what you come up with. Then watch the newspaper reporter twist the fact and fiction to make a sensational story in order to sell papers and inflame the public with article after article so they'll buy more papers to get the latest garbage. Let sleeping dogs lie and go get a life instead of judging others. If you don't like the judicial system maybe you need to move or start voting to change things. Sitting here talking about stuff you don't understand just shows how ignorant you really are.


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