The man who killed Bette Winn will be on the streets in about 14 days.
Joe Gregory Wilson, who pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree manslaughter Feb. 28 with Winn’s family on board, was sentenced today to five years.
However, that will be probated after Wilson has served 60 days and he’s already served 46 days, leaving less than two weeks before he is released. Wilson was taken into custody following his February guilty plea.
Special prosecutor David Nutgrass, of Shelby County, says the fact that Wilson will be released so soon after sentencing is “a bitter pill to swallow” for Winn’s family.
Wilson, 59, pleaded guilty to beating 53-year-old Winn in the early morning hours of Oct. 17, 2009. Winn died the next day from head injuries resulting from the beating.
He was charged with first-degree manslaughter the following July.
Franklin Circuit Court stood in recess after motion hour Friday while Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate waited for Nutgrass to arrive from Shelby County. Family members from both Winn’s and Wilson’s families were present.
“Mr. Wilson, a lot of what has happened is because of your alcohol abuse,” Wingate said after he sentenced Wilson.
“As a judge for 13 years I’ve seen the number one drug that affects people in our community is alcohol by far. More than crack cocaine, meth or any of the other drugs. It leads to situations like this, and it has led to the death of this young lady.”
As part of probation, Wilson will pay for Winn’s burial costs and receive mental and substance abuse evaluations. Wingate ordered Wilson to follow all recommendations from the tests he had to undergo.
He will also attend anger management classes.
If Wilson has any charges filed against him while on probation he will be incarcerated for the full five years, Wingate said.