SPARTANBURG -- A South Carolina man sentenced to death row three times for the murder of a 76-year-old woman instead will be released in about five years after receiving credit for the time he's already served.
Ernest Matthew Riddle was sentenced Friday to 30 years in prison for the murder, burglary and armed robbery of Abbie Sue Mullinax of Gaffney on Aug. 7, 1985. Riddle had been sentenced to die three times for Mullinax's murder.
Defense attorneys and prosecutors agreed that Riddle would plea under the state's Alford rule. That means he didn't admit guilt but agreed a jury would likely convict him after hearing evidence. Riddle will be released in August 2016 since he receives credit for the prison time he has already served.