FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 28, 2011
Margo Freshwater, who goes by Tonya Hudkins McCartor, today entered into an agreement with the State of Tennessee saying she is not guilty, but that it was in her best interest to end her case so she could be with her family. Such agreements are pursuant to the United States Supreme Court decision in North Carolina v. Alford, 400 U.S. 25 (1970). Tonya’s best interest plea allows her to maintain her innocence.
As part of her agreement, Tonya entered a best interest guilty plea to murder in the first degree under the law in effect in 1966, and she agreed to a 25 year sentence. It is part of the Court’s judgment that Tonya will receive credit for all time served. The agreement was approved today by the Shelby County Criminal Court, Div. II.
In practical terms, we anticipate that Tonya will be free within a matter of days once the sentence credits are calculated and applied by the Tennessee Department of Correction.
Tonya’s faith has sustained her through these difficult years. The only thing more important to Tonya than clearing her name was reuniting with her family. The best interest plea entered today allows her to be with them as soon as possible. She very much looks forward to joining her loving husband, children, grandchildren, and friends in Ohio. Tonya’s family is overjoyed she will be free.
Our firm is proud to have assisted Tonya in this case.
STEPHEN ROSS JOHNSON
Ritchie, Dillard, Davies & Johnson, PC
606 W. Main St., Suite 300
Knoxville, TN 37902