CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Just a few weeks before his retrial for murdering Kate Waring, Ethan Mack pulls out a plea to avoid a possible life sentence.
Mack entered an Alford Plea to voluntary manslaughter, which means he doesn't admit his guilt but believes a jury would convict him. Mack was sentenced to 25 years for Waring's 2009 drowning death at his James Island apartment.
Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said she accepted the plea because of the unreliability of her key witness Heather Kamp, who is bi polar and lied to authorities about the case.
Tom Waring, Kate's father, spoke at the hearing saying that his family is devastated by the loss of their daughter and said their only consolation was that Kate was at peace. Waring's father said he was thankful that Mack is accepting responsibility.
Mack will have to serve at least 85 percent of the 25 year sentence. Kamp plead guilty but mentally ill to murder last week and is yet to be sentenced.
A jury could not reach a unanimous verdict during Mack's murder trial for Waring's death last October, therefore the judge declared a mistrial. Jurors did find Mack guilty on obstruction of justice and forgery charges last summer and he was sentenced to 10 years in prison on the obstruction charge, and five years on the forgery charge.
Heather Kamp, Mack's co-defendant, pled guilty earlier this month, but mentally ill, on a murder charge in connection with the killing of Waring. Kamp, 31, plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter and other charges back in August in connection with Waring's death, but the deal was taken off the table after authorities said she lied.
Kamp testified during Mack's trial, explaining how she met Waring and how she was killed. Waring, 28, vanished on June 12, 2009 after she went to a West Ashley gym, a CVS pharmacy and a Japanese steak house. Surveillance video captured her at the George Street pharmacy at around 8 p.m.
Kamp said they then used a stun gun, hit her over the head with a wine bottle and then put her unconscious body in the bathtub to drown.
- Kamp charged with murder, plea agreement thrown out
- Police look for suspect who was supposed to testify in Waring case
- Mack's fate in hands of jury
- Witness says Mack wrapped death threats on ride back to jail
- Mack passes on testifying as trial finishes 8th day
- Mack's mother, sister testify for defense
- Crime scene video, photos shown to jury
- Handwriting expert says Kamp wrote checks, Mack endorsed