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Woman pleads guilty in fatal Lenoir stabbing

LENOIR, N.C. — A woman pleaded guilty Tuesday afternoon to stabbing and killing a woman in Lenoir two years ago.

Family members on both sides were at the hearing.

Ashley Stewart told Channel 9 reporter Dave Faherty in 2015 that she didn't know anything about the deadly stabbing.

Prosecutors told the judge that Hope Webb died from a single stab wound at an apartment complex in Lenoir.

They said Stewart might have become jealous after seeing Webb there, which led her to stab her once in her upper chest.

"She becomes angry at a quicker pace, and she came outside and saw Hope was there, and the two ladies got to arguing with one another and she had a knife," assistant district attorney Andrew Jennings said.

Webb's daughter, Haley Watson, fought back tears as she described to the judge the impact her death had on the family.

She said the loss is more profound this week with Mother's Day this weekend.

"We have complete and total faith that God will have the last and final judgment," Watson said. "And we will carry on her name with laughter, joy and love."
 
Stewart pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. Before she was sentenced, her attorney told the judge that she tried to perform CPR on Webb.

"She fell to the ground, and Ms. Stewart then began to apply CPR,” defense attorney Ted Cummings said. “She did what she thought was the best thing under the circumstances."

Stewart turned toward Webb's family in court and apologized, telling the judge that she has changed during the last year.

"I really hope to better myself the best I can,” Stewart said. “I can tell you God has really worked in my life and made me see a lot of things."

The judge sentenced her to between 80 and 108 months of prison time. He also ordered her to pay back Webb's family for the funeral costs.

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