Kemp woman Merlin Kay Long Whittington has pled guilty to manslaughter with a deadly weapon in the 2018 shooting death of her husband, Hubert Whittington.
Merlin’s guilty plea was the result of a plea bargain that waves any attempt at appealing the case, but also lowers her initial charge of murder, a first-degree felony, with manslaughter, a second-degree felony. Merlin faces a prison sentence of two to 20 years and an optional fine of up to $10,000 when she is sentenced on August 16, exactly one year after the shooting, in the 86th District Court by Judge Casey Blair. So far, she has spent no time in jail after posting a $200,000 bail just hours after her arrest on August 28.
After shooting Hubert on August 16, Merlin called 9-1-1 at 1:29 p.m. to report what she claimed was an accidental discharge from her weapon. However, upon investigating the scene, Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department investigators and Texas Rangers concluded that the position of Hubert’s body did not match Merlin’s testimony, leading to her arrest.
The Whittington family is pleased by Merlin’s guilty plea as it eliminates the potential for a longer, more strenuous trial.
“We are looking forward to the sentencing in August, Greg Whittington, Hubert’s son from a previous marriage, said. “I am hopeful that the judge will take all the facts into consideration when deciding on her punishment. We are looking forward to seeing that justice is served and she is being held responsible.”