Center woman pleads to lesser charge in man's stabbing death

Center woman pleads to lesser charge in man's stabbing death
Rebecca Fountain (Source: Shelby County Jail)
Rebecca Fountain (Source: Shelby County Jail)

CENTER, TX (KTRE) - A Center woman accused of killing a Nacogdoches man in March 2012 is now walking free after pleading guilty to a lesser charge Monday.

Originally charged with first-degree murder, Rebecca Gale Fountain pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide.

"I'm thankful, I'm just thankful," Fountain said.

Fountain received a sentence of 649 days in jail, the same amount of days she already served, so she was able to get out of jail on credit for time served.

"I think it was fair," defense attorney Robert Goodwin said. "I never thought she committed murder. In fact, I'm not sure if she ever committed a crime at all."

Fountain was arrested following the stabbing death of Mark Allen Ray, 39. Shelby County deputies found him dead on a bedroom floor in a home in the 9200 block of State Highway West.

Goodwin argued that Fountain acted out of self defense.

"She was living with Ray at the time," Goodwin said. "She was stranded there and had nowhere to go. They got into a verbal argument, and he said if she did not do what he told her to, then she would end up dead at the bottom of a well."

Goodwin said he would have shown evidence that claimed Ray had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit as well as well as traces of meth and codeine in his system.

"I am split on what happened today," Goodwin said. "We compromised. I do not think she was wrong, but it is hard to go in there to her and tell her to fight and risk more jail time, when the offer would have let her go free."

The case puts an end to the bizarre saga which saw Fountain's attorney, Robert Goodwin, try to throw a notebook at the Shelby County district attorney during a pre-trial hearing. Goodwin missed and hit the DA investigator, Bobby Carlsen.

"He thought he was right, I thought I was right," Goodwin said. "When grown men both think they are right, sometimes they lose their cool and do things that are stupid and silly. At one time, I thought we were close. I thought I could be an assistant under Florence when he became the DA. I considered asking him to be a partner at my practice. I talked to Carlsen today and said I was sorry, and we shook hands. It will take more time with Florence."

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