- Associated Press - Friday, July 29, 2016

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) - A Florida Panhandle woman has pleaded no-contest and accepted a 40-year prison sentence for killing her boyfriend and living in a house with his body for several days.

Authorities say 42-year-old Melissa Kristine Kennedy accepted the plea deal Thursday. She was arrested last October after Bay County sheriff’s deputies found her in a truck outside the home where she had been caring for her 59-year-old boyfriend Clifford Lewis. Lewis had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

The News Herald (https://bit.ly/2awwaiy) reports defense attorney Kim Jewell says she had offered Kennedy a range of defenses, including insanity and the possibility that someone else killed Lewis. Kennedy chose the plea deal.

Authorities say Lewis was shot twice and his body was decomposing. Kennedy told investigators he had abused her for years.

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Information from: The (Panama City, Fla.) News Herald, https://www.newsherald.com

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