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Rest home resident gets probation in roommate's death

Posted February 5, 2010

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— A former resident of a Cumberland County rest home pleaded guilty Thursday to killing his roommate in December 2008.

Mencie Grimes, 60, entered an Alford plea to a second-degree murder charge. In an Alford plea, a defendant pleads guilty, while maintaining his or her innocence, and admits it is in his or her best interest to take the plea deal because prosecutors have sufficient evidence for a conviction.

Levi Montgomery, 69, was found dead on Dec. 27, 2008, in the room he shared with Grimes at Countryside Villa Nursing Home in Godwin. An autopsy determined that Montgomery had been strangled.

Authorities said the men got into an argument over the television in their room, and the fight turned violent.

Superior Court Judge Lynn Johnson sentenced Grimes to 64 to 85 months in prison but suspended that to five years on supervised probation. Johnson noted that Grimes suffers from Alzheimer's disease, so he ruled that Grimes must live in an assisted living facility approved by his probation officer.


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  • toyna1120 Feb 5, 2010

    everyday i wake up remembering the last time i talked to my uncle before he was killed. and i really miss him alot.this is the first time i've heard of the alford plea. i really agree with grenlyn1 since when did it become optional for murder? what kind of plea do me and my family take? we have losted a great-uncle and a brother. i do pray for this man. i do blame the staff at the facility i myself have been a cna for over 20yrs i have work in assistant living if you hear any fussing or fighting it is your job to respond to it no matter how many times you have heard it and you try to solve issue. i feel that they did not do this.so they are at fault as well.

  • donnaferguson Feb 5, 2010

    I sure hope this probation officer educates him/herself on Alzheimer's disease and the AGGRESSION that can, unfortunately, come with it. I'm not saying that anyone with that malady should go to prison, but he should be monitored by trained staff in a SECURED environment. Can he be left alone with yet another roommate????

  • grenlyn1 Feb 5, 2010

    I cringe everytime I see a criminal use the "Alford Plea" as an option but since when did it become an option for murder? This plea needs to be changed.

  • mulecitybabe Feb 5, 2010

    As more and more of the mentally ill are turned away by the state, these types of crimes will certainly become more common. Most group homes and nursing care facilities are becoming filled with them and while most of the mentally ill are not violent, they do require specialized care that is not often available in community settings.