October 28, 2011- Margo Freshwater pled guilty today in a Shelby County Criminal Court to murder in the first degree for the 1966 fatal shooting of Hilman Robbins
Ms. Freshwater was originally tried for Mr. Robbins’ murder in 1969. She was convicted of murder in the first degree and sentenced to serve 99 years in prison. In 1970, Freshwater escaped from the Tennessee Prison for Women in Nashville, TN. She remained a fugitive at large until 2002 when she was arrested in Columbus, Ohio under an assumed name.
After her re-arrest, Freshwater filed a petition to have her conviction set aside. In 2011, the Court of Criminal Appeals granted relief and remanded her case for retrial in Shelby county Criminal Court.
In her guilty plea, Freshwater agreed to 25 years imprisonment for the crime. She has been in custody since her 2002 arrest in Columbus, Ohio.
Under the state’s 1966 murder statute, the minimum sentence for murder in the first degree was 20 years imprisonment, with death as the maximum penalty. Freshwater is to be turned over to Tennessee Board of Prisons and Parole to serve the balance of the sentence. The State Board of Prisons will determine the exact time Freshwater has remaining on her 25 year sentence.
Freshwater’s guilty plea today was entered in Shelby County Criminal Court Division 2 with Judge Otis Higgs presiding. The prosecution was handled by Shelby County Deputy District Attorney John Campbell.