Local News

Maready Convicted Of Second-Degree Murder, Other Counts

Posted April 21, 2006

— A jury found Kenneth Maready guilty on multiple counts, including second-degree murder, in connection with a drunk-driving crash that killed a Durham woman.

"We, the 12 members of the jury, unanimously find the defendant to be guilty of second degree murder," the clerk read just after 3:30 p.m. Friday. The jury reached this decision after nearly five hours of deliberations.

As the word "guilty" was read in the courtroom Friday afternoon, Kenneth Maready stood next to his attorney, staring straight ahead, showing very little emotion. He could spend the next 20 years of his life in prison for the death of Kay Stokes.

Maready was driving drunk in a stolen car when he crashed into the Durham woman's pickup in February of 2005. For Stokes' family, Friday's verdict is the decision they have been waiting for for more than a year.

"It's been an emotional roller coaster," Marcy Stokes-Henley said about life without her mother. "Nothing will bring Momma back."

On the day of the crash, investigators said Maready's blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit.

"I feel sorry for him," Stokes-Henley said.

The case has highlighted the difficulty of keeping determined drunk drivers off the road. Before that February afternoon, Maready already had a 108 page criminal history, including 9 previous DWI convictions.

Because the jury did not reach their decision until late Friday afternoon, Maready will not be sentenced until Monday.

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