A 27-year-old woman was sentenced to 15 years in prison Thursday for her role in a robbery-turned murder in January 2013.
Carmisha Lay pleaded guilty in December to second-degree murder, tampering with evidence, and false reports, prosecutor Lance Pope told Judge Tom Greenholtz in Hamilton County Criminal Court. She will serve her 15-year sentence for those three charges at the same time in the Tennessee Department of Corrections.
Lay, who has been in custody in Hamilton County Jail, made a brief appearance Thursday before Greenholtz in a yellow jumpsuit. She was originally charged with first-degree murder, especially aggravated robbery, criminal conspiracy, making false reports and tampering with evidence in the death of Edward Glenn Jr. But when the case went to trial in December, she agreed to lower charges in exchange for her testimony.
Because of the murder charge, Lay faced the possibility of life imprisonment — the current scenario facing her co-conspirator, Stephen Lester, 27. His sentencing hearing, also scheduled this week, was pushed to April 27 because of pending federal gun charges.
Prosecutors said Lay and Lester, both gang members in the Athens Park Bloods, arranged the fatal robbery of Glenn, a 28-year-old father of five. During the trial, Lay explained how she'd known Glenn, a former boyfriend, since she was 16. They sometimes took the drug Ecstasy and had casual sex, she said. And because of the money he made dealing drugs, he would make an easy target, she told Lester, her then-boyfriend.
On Jan. 10, Lay sent a string of text messages to Lester between 3 and 4 a.m., letting him know Glenn was inside her house at 2500 O'Rear St. Lester then recruited another Athens Park Bloods member known as "Donkey," who has not been charged in the crime, and drove over.
Aside from a television's dim glow, the room was dark that night, Lay said. Then two men burst into the home, armed and wearing bandannas.
Lester grabbed Lay by the neck and dragged her into the corner while Donkey pistol-whipped Glenn in the head and face, she said. Glenn cooperated when the men asked for his money, stashed in his pants on the floor.
Then, Lay testified, Lester commanded Donkey to shoot Glenn.
After four days, jurors convicted Lester of first-degree murder and especially aggravated robbery in December. He was given a life sentence for the first-degree murder charge with an opportunity for parole after 51 years. The sentence for the especially aggravated robbery charge will be given at his April 27 hearing.
Contact staff writer Zack Peterson at email@example.com or 423-757-6347. Follow @zackpeterson918.