Former Lawyer Testifies Against Cornett
Saturday, November 3, 2001
by Associated Press
(Rogersville-AP) -- The former lawyer of a Kentucky woman convicted of killing three members of a Knoxville family testified yesterday as part of post-conviction appeal hearing for his former client.
Washington County Circuit Judge Robert E- Cupp says Natasha Cornett knew what she was doing when she and five others pleaded guilty to the 1997 murders of Vidar and Delfina Lillelid and their six-year-old daughter.
But Cornett's current lawyer says her client was coerced or unfairly pressured into a plea agreement with the state, which was seeking the death penalty against the four adult defendants.
The deal offered life sentences in exchange for guilty pleas. But all the defendants had to accept or no one could.
The Lillelids were taken hostage from an Interstate 81 rest area in Greene County, gunned down and left for dead.