Linda Frickey died on March 21, 2022, after she was carjacked and then dragged for more than a block while she remained tangled in the driver's side seatbelt
Three of four teenagers involved in the brutal carjacking death of an elderly woman in New Orleans last year will now spend up to two decades behind bars after pleading guilty to reduced criminal charges, according to multiple news outlets.
The three teenage girls, Briniyah Baker, 17, Lenyra Theophile, 16, and Mar’qel Curtis, 16, accepted a plea deal Monday that ultimately convicted them of attempted manslaughter in connection with the death of 73-year-old Linda Frickey, WWL-TV and The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported from the courtroom.
With the trio’s agreement came a 20 year prison sentence, the Associated Press reports. The girls had initially been charged as adults with second-degree murder and faced life in prison, according to the outlet.
A fourth defendant, 18-year-old John Honore, is charged with second-degree murder and is expected to be tried on Nov. 27, the Advocate reports, citing Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Judge Kimya Holmes. Honore, who prosecutors have alleged was behind the wheel at the time of the fatal incident, has pleaded not guilty.
The attack happened on March 21, 2022, after Hickey was carjacked in the Mid-City area and then dragged for more than a block while she remained tangled in the driver's side seatbelt, authorities and neighbors said, per local news station WDSU.
The 73-year-old, who was leaving her job at Security Plan Insurance, ended up having her arm severed as she was dislodged from the vehicle, the outlet reported, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Witnesses who watched the incident unfold tried to intervene.
"I got out of my vehicle screaming, 'Stop, stop, you are dragging someone.' He took off with the vehicle. Still dragging her. Reckless. No care for human beings at all," Todd Ecker told WDSU at the time.
Police said in a previous press release that detectives obtained surveillance video of the four suspects and they were arrested and charged shortly after.
In a statement shared in court Monday, the girls expressed remorse for their actions.
“I wish I could go back and change the outcome,” Curtis said, per the Advocate. “[Frickey] seemed like such a nice lady.”
“That’s not what we set out to do,” Baker said of the killing, adding, “and I hope that you all can forgive me,” according to the Advocate.
Fox8 reported at the time that Frickey’s husband had just retired, with Frickey planning on retiring in a month. The couple was looking forward to spending more time together, as well as with friends and family — including their granddaughter, according to loved ones who spoke with the outlet.
Jinnylynn Griffin, Frickey’s sister, also faced the defendants in court, telling WWL-TV that her family is relieved at the result.
“I think they really were sincere in their apology, and we appreciate that they did admit their guilt and accept their punishment and hopefully as time goes on, everyone can heal,” Griffin said, per the outlet.
In a statement obtained by the AP, the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office said in part, “Our hearts and unwavering support continue to be with the Frickey family as we fight for justice and pursue a resolution that honors Linda’s memory.”
PEOPLE has reached out to the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office for comment but did not immediately hear back.
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