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Plea deal may be in works in slow cooker slaying case

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

A Detroit woman accused of beating a friend to death with a slow cooker may be close to a plea deal, her attorney said.

Tewana Sullivan’s attorney, John McWilliams, said Wednesday he may have reached an agreement with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office for Sullivan to plead guilty but mentally ill to second-degree murder.

“My client has indicated she would accept it,” McWilliams said. “I approached the prosecutor and I think we’ve arrived at an agreement.”

Maria Miller, a spokeswoman for Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, said the office will not comment on any discussions.

“It is our protocol not to discuss plea negotiations,” she said in an email. “If anything happens in the case, it will be placed on the record in court, and the plea information will be released.”

The potential deal comes days before Sullivan’s trial was scheduled to begin Monday.

McWilliams also said the agreement could be submitted to Wayne County Judge Michael Hathaway for his approval as soon as Thursday.

If approved, Sullivan could serve 23-50 years in prison and receive psychological treatment while incarcerated, McWilliams said.

McWilliams said he began discussing a plea agreement with Sullivan and the Prosecutor’s Office after receiving the results of a second competency exam on his client.

He said he’s optimistic the judge will approve the deal.

Authorities have accused Sullivan, 50, of bludgeoning her friend, Cheryl Livy, 66, of Livonia to death in Livy’s Livonia apartment on Oct. 22.

Livy died of blunt force injuries to her head, face and mid-back, according to testimony in February from the Oakland County medical examiner. He also testified the cord to the crock pot was wrapped around her neck.

Livy was taken to Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills, where she died two days after the incident.

McWilliams said his client is mentally ill, has had three brain surgeries and doesn’t remember details of the death.

The fight, he said, was over a political debate.


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