- Associated Press - Thursday, February 23, 2017

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A 26-year-old Omaha woman has been sentenced to two to three years in prison for stabbing her mother to death.

Carletta Wells-Harris was given the punishment Wednesday in Douglas County District Court, the Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/2lPwAaQ ) reported.

Authorities said Wells-Harris killed Meredith Wells, 43, during a dispute on July 5 of last year.

Prosecutors said the argument began after Wells-Harris fed two of her children, ages 2 and 3, leftovers she found in the family’s refrigerator.

Toxicology reports found alcohol and cocaine in Wells’ system.

Wells-Harris faced up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter. However, Judge Leigh Ann Retelsdorf chose a minimal sentence, with credit for time served, that would allow Wells-Harris to get out later this year and return to raising her three children.

“The motivation for this offense is probably more difficult than I’m qualified to (discern),” Retelsdorf said. “It stems from a very long relationship between you and your mom where she has been on a roller coaster, and you never knew who you were going to get.”

Wells-Harris pleaded no contest to manslaughter after prosecutors dropped a second-degree murder charge and a weapons count.

Her family, including the victim’s son and brother, were pleased with the verdict.

Cornell Wells-Harris, the defendant’s brother, said he hopes his sister can move on from the fatal encounter with their mother.

“She had drug and alcohol problems most of her adult life,” Wells-Harris’ uncle, Levelle Wells, said of the victim. “When she was on drugs and alcohol, she was a violent person. When she was off of it, she was a beautiful person.”

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