ROCKINGHAM — Jerry Dean Guinn will spend a minimum of 11 years behind bars for killing his wife nearly a decade ago following a plea deal Monday afternoon.
Guinn pleaded guilty to a single charge of second degree murder, admitting in Richmond County Superior County he killed Angela “Angie” Jacobs Guinn in 2007. The plea deal dismisses one count of possession of a firearm by a felon and one count of intimidating a witness.
Assistant District Attorney Chevonne Wallace said that the victim’s body had been found in her bed on Oct. 7, 2007 with a .22-caliber rifle lying beside it and that the body and weapon were both under the covers.
Wallace said the couple had been separated for a week or two the day before the murder and Angie Guinn had told friends and family members that he was not allowed to come back on to the property.
Wallace said Angie Guinn had a history of cocaine use prior to the murder and had recently used it again.
“Matthew Winfield, her nephew, lived there at the time,” Wallace said. “He said that he heard arguing he thought was between Jerry and Angie Guinn, but he couldn’t tell whether it was on the phone or if Jerry Guinn was actually inside the home…it was deemed a suicide and the case was immediately closed.”
Friends and family of Angie Guinn were allowed to offer comments prior to the sentencing phase under the North Carolina Department of Justice’s Crime Victims’ Rights Act.
“Mr. Guinn’s been a friend of our family all our life,” said Angie Guinn’s brother, Robert Jacobs. “Him and my sister got married, and they lived in my back yard. And he killed her. Dale Furr and them called it a suicide. It wasn’t. They didn’t like my sister. Then we turned to Sheriff Clemmons and asked him for his help and he helped us. All I’m asking you to do is sentence this man to the maximum amount allowed. That’s all I’ll say. I’ll let it go now.”
Ira Pittman, Jerry Guinn’s attorney said the reason the defendant shot his wife was because he had seen her having an affair with two men — one of whom was “pulling up his pants.”
Sheila Jenks, who knew the victim, spoke in defense against allegations Angie Guinn had been having an affair.
“Angie was my best friend,” Jenks said directly to Jerry Guinn. “She wasn’t seeing nobody else. Y’all could have worked it out. You searched her phone, you stalked her, you followed her. You put her in prison again, but she loved you. Y’all could have worked it out. She loved you. But you’ve taken away a valuable friend, and it was not your place to do so.”
Guinn was charged with murder after being questioned by investigators with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office in January of 2016. In August of that year, he was also charged with trying to convince a witness not to testify against him.
Pittman suggested Guinn’s admission to second degree murder should be considered as a mitigating factor in sentencing, that he has been deeply involved with a church since the murder and that he is nearly 60 years of age and has mental health issues.
Pitman petitioned the judge for the minimum sentence of 132 months.
Wallace added that the defendant was believed by the family to be in possession of his deceased wife’s cremated remains, and that the family had asked to have them back or that Jerry Guinn disclose their whereabouts.
Guinn was sentenced to a minimum of 11 years and a maximum of 14 years in prison.