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Gainesville woman to serve 3 years for boyfriends death
Self-defense claims played role in plea deal for Pamela Porter
Pamela Porter
Pamela Porter

A Gainesville woman took a plea deal Friday that avoided a felony murder charge in the June 2014 death of her boyfriend, and she was given a prison sentence of three years, according to court documents.

Pamela Ann Porter, 50, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, aggravated assault and possession of a knife in the commission of a crime.

A grand jury previously chose not to indict Porter on a malice murder charge in connection to 48-year-old Rodney Griffeth’s death.

Gainesville Police responded to West Avenue June 13, 2014, to reports of a stabbing outside the couple’s residence.

“When law enforcement officers arrived at the crime scene where the victim was laying on the ground bleeding, (Porter) (waved) them down,” according to court documents filed from Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh’s office. “Her spontaneous statement was that ‘Help me, he was beating me, why me ... I cut him, he was beating me in the head.’”

Both Griffeth and Porter had a history of allegations as both the perpetrator and victim in previous domestic violence cases, according to Darragh’s office’s filings.

“There was countervailing evidence that undermined (Porter’s) self-defense claim, including her mischaracterizations as to the timeline of events prior to the stabbing, the fact that she was in a verbal argument with another female just minutes before the incident, and the fact that she was very intoxicated,” according to the district attorney’s filing.

Believing a jury may not convict Porter because of the self-defense claim, the parties reached a plea agreement, according to the documents.

Porter received three years to serve in prison and seven years on probation for the voluntary manslaughter charge. The possession of a knife in the commission of a crime carried a sentence of five years on probation.

Porter will get credit for the 13 months she has already spent incarcerated.

Upon conviction, a felony murder charge carries a mandatory life prison sentence.