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Date of Issue: March 08, 2007

Woman sentenced in Sunny Shores slaying

Tammy Lynn George received a 22-year prison sentence in the stabbing death of a Sunny Shores mobile home park resident.

George, in shackles and a blue jail uniform, walked into a Manatee County courtroom March 1 and entered a "no contest" plea.

George's plea to the charge of second-degree murder with a weapon avoided a jury trial that could have resulted in a sentence of life in prison for the slaying of Mimi Marie Pace.

Pace, 42, and George, 45, were new roommates on the morning of Jan. 2, 2006. The two, as well as Pace's boyfriend, Scott Conklin, were setting up house in George's trailer in the 3700 block of 115th Street West in Sunny Shores.

That morning, while Conklin was in another trailer retrieving some personal belongings, George and Pace got into an argument, according to Cynthia Evers, a prosecutor with the state attorney's office in the 12th Judicial Circuit.

"The argument obviously turned physical," Evers said as she reported the circumstances of the case last week.

A neighbor heard Pace shout, "Help she's going to kill me," and called out to Conklin, who ran to investigate. He found his girlfriend lying on a bedroom floor in a pool of blood.

"She had been stabbed multiple times," Evers said.

An autopsy report indicated Pace had suffered 75 wounds, some of them puncture wounds, some of them with possibly a blunt object. A kitchen knife and baseball bat were recovered from the scene.

During the hearing last week, George did not dispute the facts Evers presented in the case.

Circuit Court Judge Janette Dunnigan asked George, whose nickname is Crazy Red, a series of questions intended to ensure George made her plea knowing she was giving up the right to a trial and an appeal, was satisfied with her representation by assistant public defender Steven Schaefer and is in stable mental health.

"At this moment, are you clear in your thoughts?" Dunnigan asked George, who calmly stood at a podium, just feet from Pace's family.

"Yes ma'am," George replied.

"Do you have any questions about your plea?" the judge asked.

George replied, "I am very aware of what's going on today."

After Dunnigan accepted George's plea, the judged approved the negotiated sentence — 22 years, with credit for the 13 months already served.

Dunnigan said her intent was that George would serve "every minute" of the sentence, though the Florida Department of Corrections could release George early based on her behavior in prison.

George must also pay court costs and $2,120 for Pace's funeral.

Pace's mother and older sister spoke briefly at the hearing.

"No one deserves to die the way my sister Mimi died," Suzanne Pace said.

The sister added, "All we can do is pray you sentence her with everything the state of Florida can give her."

Pace's mother, Mary Ann, uneasily stepped to the podium and said, "It's going to be very difficult to speak."

She gestured toward George and said, "This girl, this woman, took away one of my children."

Dunnigan told Pace's family and friends, "I send you my condolences.... I wish you peace."