Basketball star accused of stabbing her mother and sister has pleaded no contest and could face up to 21 years in prison
Carissa McGee, the former Mayfield High basketball star accused of stabbing her mother and sister, today pleaded no contest and could face up to 21 years in prison.
McGee, 18, entered her plea this morning to two counts each of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery against a household member. A no-contest plea means McGee did not admit guilt but accepted that the prosecution likely had enough evidence for a conviction if the case went to trial.
Her plea came in a courtroom packed with about 50 people, including her mother and sister, who sobbed and clutched tissues when McGee entered the courtroom escorted by Dona Ana County sheriff's deputies.
Several of McGee's former teammates at Mayfield filled the front row in the spectator's section of the courtroom.
State District Judge Robert Robles accepted the plea, then began a two-day hearing to determine whether McGee will be sentenced as a juvenile or an adult.
If sentenced as an adult, her prison term could be as long as 21 years.
McGee earlier pleaded not guilty to the charges. Her no-contest plea came in an agreement with prosecutors.
Court documents say the attack occurred March 27, 2006, after McGee argued with her mother over a relationship the star athlete had with an Albuquerque woman.
McGee's mother, Anita, and sister Marie, then 17 and a Mayfield senior basketball player, were taken to Thomason Hospital in El Paso. Anita McGee was stabbed 20 times and Marie 15. Both recovered.
Carissa McGee has been at the Children's Psychiatric Hospital in Albuquerque since last fall.
Prosecutors said if the case went to trial, they could prove McGee's acts were premeditated and at least one week before the attack she had planned to kill her mother. She had stolen some family china and simulated a break-in, then planned to kill her mother and go back to bed so her sister would discover the killing, prosecutors said.
Instead, when McGee began attacking her mother in the bedroom, Marie McGee responded and was attacked when she tried to intervene, prosecutors said.
They described the turmoil in the house the night of incident and said Anita McGee fled.
"You're killing me! You're killing me!" she screamed at her daughter.
Marie McGee barricaded herself in her mother's bedroom and did not come out until a neighbor persuaded her it was safe.
Carissa McGee, meanwhile, went to another residence and told neighbors someone had attacked her family.
Basketball star's potential clouded by attack on mother, sister