D.A. to seek life without chance of parole in Albany murder - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

D.A. to seek life without chance of parole in Albany murder

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Police say 33-year-old Tiffany Wise confessed to brutally beating Mabel Berry to death Sunday Police say 33-year-old Tiffany Wise confessed to brutally beating Mabel Berry to death Sunday

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Dougherty District Attorney will not go after the death penalty but will use a new law to try to get a life sentence with no chance of parole for the suspected killer of an 88-year old woman.

Police say 33-year-old Tiffany Wise confessed to brutally beating Mabel Berry to death Sunday.

The D.A. says the new sentence passed into law this year, will guarantee she'll spend the rest of her life behind bars if she is convicted.

Sunday's beating death of 88 year old Mabel Berry at her West Highland Avenue was an especially shocking and brutal crime, even to veteran Police Investigators and Prosecutors.

D.A. Greg Edwards said "As alleged, this would be one that certainly one must consider the death penalty."

33 year old Tiffany Wise turned herself in just hours later and confessed to beating Berry to death in a robbery attempt. Berry was a long time volunteer at the Albany Rescue Mission, where Wise lived, and attended Berry's Bible classes.

Police followed a blood trail from Berry's front door, across her home, to where they found her body in the back yard. Even her small dog had blood on it. But the D.A. says this case still may not meet all the criteria necessary for the death penalty.

Edwards said "Perhaps all of the factors that would ordinarily lead to the state seeking the death penalty wouldn't be there, but it is a matter where life without parole is the only appropriate option."

Prosecutors have long sought the true life sentence for a number of years, and Governor Sonny Perdue signed Senate Bill 13 into law this Legislative session. Until now, if sentenced to life, a person would automatically come up for parole in 30 years. Under Senate Bill 13, the life sentence is final, and Edwards says now he feels that, instead of the death penalty, is best in the Berry murder.

Edwards said "We are definitely going to consider applying this particular law in this case."

Edwards said his office will always stress strict justice to protect the elderly, disabled, and children. And he thinks Georgia's new life sentence will be a good tool in that fight.

Edwards say under Georgia's old law, Prosecutors would have to seek the death penalty, in order to get a true life sentence in a murder case. That's costly and time consuming. Wise is being held in the Dougherty County jail, and her trial has not been scheduled.

Berry's Funeral will be at the Albany Gospel Chapel on North Slappey, Friday at 11AM.

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