On Friday morning, Brandon Phelps was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the murder of 92-year-old Bellaire resident Lydia Ashworth.
Phelps received 10 years on one count of manslaughter and 10 years on one count of aggravated burglary. The sentence was the maximum he could receive. After he is released from prison, Phelps will be placed under post-release control for a period of five years.
On Thursday, Phelps surprised the court when he entered an Alford plea to the charges, just as the potential jury was being selected for his trial.
In entering an Alford plea, the defendant admits that the evidence the prosecution has would be likely to persuade a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Phelps was one of two men charged in the vicious crime that occurred in 2012. Phelps' co-defendant, Devon Fuller, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on March 16 for his role in the crime.