Jefferson Woman Pleads Guilty, Sentenced For 1st-Degree Murder

She fatally stabbed her grandmother in December, 2014.


Frederick, Md (KM) A plea was entered in Frederick County Circuit Court on Tuesday morning, followed by a sentence. Hestina Lakeisha Harris, 24, of Jefferson entered a guilty plea to 1st-degree murder for slaying her grandmother in December, 2014. She was sentenced to life in prison with all but 60 years suspended. Harris will be placed on five-years supervised probation after her release.

State’s Attorney Charlie Smith says his office has the right to veto any sentence modification in the future. “Obviously, we want certainty of sentence. We don’t want the sentence to come back and get modified, ” he said. “And we don’t want  any appeal issues or anything like that to come back.”

Harris was arrested in December 2014 for the fatal stabbing of Lillie Marie Morris, 67. “The cause of death was sharp force injuries to several of her major organs. She was stabbed multiple, multiple times. It was a gruesome murder, and one we wanted Hestina Harris to be held responsible for,” he says.

Because this was a murder of a family member by another family member, Smith says it was a difficult case. “While we respect the family’s desire to see Miss Harris to serve a more lenient sentence, our obligation is to the community as a  whole, and that’s why we wanted a very substantial, 60-year sentence,” he says.

Harris was convicted in 2016 for the murder, and sentenced to life with the possibility of parole. But that sentence was overturned on appeal, which necessitated a new trial.



By Kevin McManus