A Burlington County judge is pushing for a plea agreement to resolve a high-profile 12-year-old manslaughter case. But so far, the talks have come up short.
In July, the NJ Supreme Court overturned the 30-year sentence of Marie Hess, a Burlington Township woman who admitted she shot her sleeping husband to death in August 1999. While she was in prison, she was diagnosed with Battered Wife Syndrome and appealed her sentence.
At a hearing on Monday, Judge Jeanne T. Covert learned of the stalemate between the prosecutor and the public defender who are now involved in negotiating Hess' fate.
The Supreme Court said that Hess' rights were violated when her defense lawyer failed to argue for leniency even after an emotional, potentially prejudicial victim-impact video was played at her sentencing hearing.