Woman in murder-for-hire case to be released

Jun. 10—GUILFORD COUNTY — A woman from Colfax convicted nearly 30 years ago in her husband’s killing will be released from prison soon.

Donna S. Westbrooks was convicted in 1993 of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation to commit murder. She was accused of hiring two people to kill her husband, James Westbrooks Jr., so she could collect life insurance money, which she planned to split with the attackers. He was found dead in the carport of the couple’s house, stabbed at least 30 times.

Westbrooks was sentenced to 60 years in prison, but the N.C. Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission has approved her for parole, said John Bull, a spokesman for the commission.

“The date for her parole is imminent, within the next few days,” he said.

The state’s current sentencing law, known as structured sentencing, eliminated parole for crimes committed on or after Oct. 1, 1994. However, the commission indicates it has the responsibility of considering parole for offenders who were sentenced under previous sentencing guidelines.

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