Hello and thanks for joining us...
I'm Frank Malloy.
And I'm Leah Johnson.
Our top story tonight at Six, A Crawford County murder case comes to a close.... but friends and family of Trey Byers say justice was not served.
He died nearly two years ago...from a blow to the head. His body was found weeks later...buried in the woods.
And last week...murder suspect Cody Jackson pleaded guilty...to manslaughter.
Tom George went to Roberta for reaction.
Friends and family of Trey Byers planned on wearing black bracelets in his memory to his killer's trial.
<you know we all thought we were ready for it .. And then, bam, they just said that they didn't think that the jury would side with this. >
21-year old Cody Jackson had been charged with murder ... But last week, lawyers and prosecutors instead reached a plea deal where Jackson would serve 20 years for voluntary manslaughter, plus 10 years probation for concealing Byers' body in the woods.
< But instead, he just always gets a little slap on the wrist, and that's what basically we think this is, was another slap on the wrist, because he'll be out in twenty .. You know, will Trey .. Will we see Trey again, no!">
It all began in December 2010, when Byers first went missing ... His body was found in woods two months later ... Byers was killed after getting into an argument with Jackson over selling Xanax pills ... Byers' family says they felt the plea deal was sudden, and didn't give them enough time to give their opinion.
<totally blindsided. Totally blindsided ... You know I'm pretty sure neither one of them knew, you know, like I said if they had given us a heads up that this is what's in the works or this is what's going on, you know we might have been better prepared to make the decision. >
But prosecutor Cliff Woody says given the evidence in the case, the plea deal was the best way to guarantee a maximum sentence on voluntary manslaughter in case a jury did not agree to the murder charge ... But whether murder or manslaughter ... Byer's family still has a missing piece...
<it's not right ... That these kids have to grow up .. I mean their mom does such a great job, she's wonderful but it's not ever gonna change to fact that they don't have their dad now, and it's just completely unacceptable. >
In Roberta, Tom George ,13WMAZ Eyewitness News.
We also spoke with Byers' fiance, Lisa Humphreys....mother of his two children.
She says the plea deal was not enough, and that had it gone to trial, she had hoped Jackson would have gotten life without parole.
Heating your home during the winter months can be expensive...and potentially dangerous.
Especially for older people.
Research shows... they're more likely to get hurt... or worse in a home heating accident.
Judy Le has tips on how to fire-proof your home and keep your loved ones safe.
When the temperature outside dips...most people look for warmth inside...
<That's when we're most busy, when it gets real real cold. When you expect it to get to the teens or below that>
It's that time of the year to dust off portable space heaters for a quick warm-up....
<You get so close your legs will change color, you get dark. When you got warm in the front and then turned around to the back to get warm>
Heating is the second leading cause of all home-fires. That's according to the U.S Fire Administration. The risk of death is doubled for seniors between the age of 65 and 74.
<Their tolerance to cold is not very well so they use supplementary heating as well as the heating at home to keep themselves warm>
There are some safety guidelines to follow to minimize the risk of danger. First off...don't do this...
<Sometimes you can be so sleepy, it's on, but you go to bed>
Keep an eye on space heaters and put them 3 feet away from curtains, walls or furniture. And make sure to smoke detectors are working
<I had two little pieces of chicken in the toaster oven and it started burning. Maybe I put it up a little too high, I don't know, but I was so glad the smoke detector was working>
With regular household maintenance...the risk of fire is greatly reduced.
Judy Le 13wmaz Eyewitness news
If you use space heaters... make sure they're U-L or underwriters laboratory -- approved.
For more tips... Look for this webstory at 13-wmaz-dot-com.
Eight percent like it toasty...
Thirty-one percent like it cool.
And sixty-one percent... find a balance in between.
You can vote in our webpoll... Go to our homepage, 13WMAZ-dot-com...and look for the poll on the right hand side of our homepage.
Macon's only Miss America passed away over the weekend after a long battle with cancer.
Neva Fickling... Miss America 1953 and a gifted pianist... Was 79 years old.
Lorra Lynch Jones shows you a glimpse of her life... And her experiences in Neva Fickling's own words.
Tonight on Eyewitness News at 11... Hear from renowned musician Robert McDuffie on Fickling's musical talents.