I wasn’t sure whether or not Stanley Dishon would go to trial for murdering his niece, Jessica, back in 1999. As you recall me previously mentioning, this all occurred in my hometown of Shepherdsville, Kentucky. A couple days ago, the prosecution and defense reached an agreement; in return for Stanley Dishon submitting an Alford plea to manslaughter, the trial will be altogether forfeited. What is an Alford plea, you ask? (Hey, look, my college classes are coming in handy.)
Basically, an Alford plea is an alternative to pleading guilty, not guilty, or no contest. An Alford plea is the acknowledgement that the prosecution has enough evidence to convict you beyond a reasonable doubt. You can maintain your innocence, but for all intents and purposes, it is essentially a guilty plea without the actual admittance of guilt. It is the same plea the West Memphis Three wore forced to take. By submitting an Alford plea, you may be able to avoid the harshest punishment. Alford pleas work in favor of the prosecution sometimes because it saves the state money, and in this case, it puts an old case to rest; the media doesn’t get to keep dragging the public and the family through the emotional ringer of a trial.
Stanley will be eligible for parole in 16 years.
As for his motive? Word is that he was molesting Jessica and had been doing it for years. Considering his previous convictions, this wouldn’t be too surprising. The story goes that Jessica was threatening to tell, and Stanley attacked her in her yard.
Fifteen years in the making, y’all. Time to close the book on this one and pray the family can find some peace. I can’t imagine what her parents have been through, but to find the murderer is a member of your own family? It’s sickening.