The 2003 murder of a 57-year-old grandmother in northwest Denton County finally has a resolution.
Marilyn Hoehn was discovered by relatives dead on her kitchen floor in a pool of blood in December 2003. Her throat had been cut, but no murder weapon was found, according to court records.
No arrest was made until 2010, when Vicki Lea Bartlett, Hoehn’s former daughter-in-law, was indicted for the murder.
Bartlett, 44, was set to go on trial this week, but she entered a plea bargain with the Denton County District Attorney’s Office on Friday, court records show.
Bartlett entered a plea bargain agreement before 158th District Court Judge Steve Burgess and was sentenced to eight years in prison; however, with a previous jail credit of 1,442 days, she has roughly four years left on her sentence.
“We were able to take a new look at the evidence and obtained an indictment,” said Jamie Beck, first assistant for District Attorney Paul Johnson. “As happens in a lot of criminal cases, some of our witnesses are themselves criminals.
“They change their stories, sometimes more than once. We knew we had an uphill battle proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”
John Thomas Haughton, an attorney out of Aubrey, represented Bartlett and couldn’t be reached for comment.
Beck said Bartlett’s admission of guilt was ultimately what the victim’s family wanted to hear.
“The eight-year sentence was the best both sides could agree to, and it was approved by the victim’s family,” Beck said in regard to the length of her sentence.
“This is one where no one walks away satisfied, but it was the best we could do under the circumstances.”
MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .