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SC woman pleads in NC racing deaths

CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) — A South Carolina woman has entered a plea in the deaths of three people in a drag race in North Carolina.

Forty-seven-year-old Carlene Atkinson of Lake Wylie, S.C., entered what’s known as an Alford plea to three counts of involuntary manslaughter in the 2009 deaths in Mecklenburg County.

An Alford plea does not admit guilt, but acknowledges there is enough evidence for a jury to reach a guilty verdict.

Atkinson will serve at least two years and eight months in prison.

Co-defendant Tyler Stasko was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in December and was sentenced to nearly four years in prison.

The victims were 45-year-old Cynthia Furr, a professor at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and her 2-year-old daughter, McAllister, and 13-year-old Hunter Holt, who was in Stasko’s car.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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