Shelby County woman pleads guilty to felony manslaughter

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA–A Childersburg woman returned to court on Monday, Feb. 9, where she agreed to enter a guilty plea of manslaughter after fatally stabbing her boyfriend, 55-year-old Humphrey Keith of Harpersville, on July 18, 2012.

Cohill

Cohill

Cohill’s charge was lessoned through a plea deal after a jury trial was unable to convict her of murder in September 2014.

Shonta Cohill, 37, was set to begin her second trial on Feb. 9 for a charge of murder after the first trial was deemed a mistrial in September 2014.

Cohill was arrested on July 19, 2012, and was released from the Shelby County Jail after posting a $75,000 bond on Aug. 1, 2012, according to court documents.

The Shelby County District Attorney’s Office has recommended Cohill serve a 15-year prison sentence, according to court documents.

Assistant Shelby County District Attorney Doug Smith, who prosecuted the case with Daniel McBrayer, wanted to make it clear that the family of Keith be honored.

“It’s a paramount of importance to honor family victims and having tried it once already and seeing the stress and pressure the family was under, we didn’t want them to relive another trial,” said Smith. “That reason and various other reasons we felt like the plea deal was an appropriate outcome.”

The sentencing will be set for May, 5 at 8:30 a.m.

Cohill has no prior adult felony convictions.