Local News

Man pleads guilty to attacking 75-year-old woman

Posted November 18, 2008 3:07 p.m. EST

— A Harnett County man was sentenced to prison Monday for an attack on a 75-year-old woman last year, authorities said.

John Martin Meeks, 32, of Coats, was charged with attempted rape, burglary and assault in the January 2007 incident. He entered an Alford plea to charges of assault inflicting serious bodily injury and assault by strangulation.

An Alford plea allows a defendant to avoid admitting guilt while acknowledging there is enough evidence to convict him of a crime.

The woman's family members said she awoke on Jan. 30, 2007, and found Meeks standing in her room. They said she fought him off, bit his lip and called police.

Meeks told authorities he was experiencing a diabetic condition at the time and didn't know what he was doing.

He was sentenced to 10 to 12 months in prison on each charge, with the terms to be served consecutively. He also was ordered to pay $1,130 in restitution to the woman and to stay away from her.