HAGERSTOWN, Md. - A Hancock woman pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of her great aunt on Thursday.
For nine days, Crystal Stanley and her co-defendant, Jerry Smith, were on the run from law enforcement after police said they bound, tortured and murdered 81-year-old Margaret McAllister, a beloved longtime Hancock resident.
Almost a year after their capture in Arizona and just weeks before she was scheduled to go to trial, Stanley pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.
During the hearing Thursday, prosecutors revealed new details about the night of McAllister’s murder, including the fact that McAllister was nearly decapitated by an eight inch long and three inch deep wound to her neck.
Prosecutors also revealed an abundance of surveillance footage evidence that showed Stanley and Smith traveling towards and away from the victim's house on the night of the murder.
The defense did not challenge any of the prosecution's version of evidence, which included statements from Stanley claiming that she was unaware that her aunt was dead, and she did not come to her house with the intent to murder her, but rather steal her purse and credit cards.
Stanley will not be sentenced for the murder until a pre-sentence report is completed. This usually takes about 45 to 60 days.
The prosecution and family declined to comment.
Smith is still planning to move forward with his trial beginning on May 1.