Local News

Rest home resident gets probation in roommate's death

Posted February 5, 2010 1:55 p.m. EST

— 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.