COLUMBIA, Ky. (AP) - A woman who pleaded guilty to helping kill
her parents and brother in south-central Kentucky wants to withdraw
the plea and go to trial.
Margaret "Meg" Wellnitz Appleton claims in a court motion that
she had taken another inmate's medication before pleading guilty in
2005 and that her attorney had failed to properly represent her and
had pressured her to admit guilt.
As a result, her plea was "involuntary, coerced, unintelligent
and invalid," Appleton said in a court motion.
Appleton, 33, is serving life without parole for at least 25
years in the murders of her parents, Joseph and Beth Wellnitz, and
her brother Dennis. Joseph Wellnitz, 50, was a well-known
veterinarian; his wife, 40, helped at the clinic and Dennis, 20,
was a college student.
If her request is granted, Appleton could face a death sentence
if convicted at trial.
Appleton's co-defendant in the case, William Harry Meece of
Lexington, also pleaded guilty and then withdrew it. After going to
trial, he was convicted and sentenced to death.