03/08/06 — Grandma will serve 5 years in prison

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Grandma will serve 5 years in prison

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on March 8, 2006 2:07 PM

A remorseful grandmother was sentenced Tuesday to at least five years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the death of her 21-year-old granddaughter.

Carolyn Ann Faison Boyette, 58, of 204 E. Slocumb St., Mount Olive, pleaded guilty to strangling Tiesha Faison during a fight and was sentenced by Wayne County Superior Court Judge Jerry Braswell to 60 to 81 months in prison.

Faison died Oct. 22, 2005, in her great-grandmother's home that was diagonally across the street from where she lived with her grandmother. Ms. Faison left behind two small children.

Witnesses who spoke during the sentencing hearing said the two women loved one another but fell to arguing and then fighting.

Ms. Boyette's lawyer, Walter Paramore, said that for years his client had tried to get Ms. Faison to straighten out her life and take better care of her children. At the same time, Paramore said, Ms. Boyette had endured a difficult life and was battling depression.

When allowed to speak, a tearful Ms. Boyette, clad in an orange jumpsuit, turned to the victim's father and other family members and said, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

"I don't want this family to be torn apart any more," she said. "You've got those two children. You've got to get along. I'm sorry."

Ms. Boyette's younger sister, Marilyn Porter, asked the court for mercy.

"In a couple of seconds, I lost a daughter and those children lost their mother in a fit of anger or rage," said Ronald Herring, the victim's father. "I don't know what got into her, but it happened. ... It went real bad, real bad. Why you got angry, I don't know."

District Attorney Branny Vickory said a bystander saw the two women fighting. After the struggle, Ms. Faison was unconscious. When it was discovered that she was not breathing, family members called for help. Rescuers found a faint pulse and took her to Wayne Memorial Hospital, where they got a faint heartbeat. But she died later that day.

Vickory said the state's medical examiner, Dr. Deborah Radisch, had a difficult time finding the cause of death because she found only a few signs of a struggle -- scratches on her windpipe and a rug burn on her forehead. She then asked authorities to interview witnesses again. Vickory said Ms. Boyette was on her back and had her arm around Ms. Faison's neck and arm and applied enough pressure to cause death.