Emanda Mahaffey entered a plea of no contest to the felony charge of harboring a fugitive in District Court Tuesday. Mahaffey, the mother of Josh Mahaffey, was sentenced to a five-year deferred sentence, $2,500 fine, 100 hours of community service and two years of supervised probation.
Mahaffey was charged after providing support for her son while knowing he was a fugitive. On July 13, Josh Mahaffey killed his estranged girlfriend Ashleigh Lindsey and her unborn child and also killed himself with the same gun. At that time, a warrant was out on Mahaffey for domestic abuse, assault and battery. Lindsey also had a protective order against him.
District Attorney Craig Ladd noted that law enforcement officials had contacted Emanda Mahaffey in efforts to locate him. On July 13, she was contacted by Joshua and met him at a convenience store at about 11 a.m. and paid for his gas and gave him a small amount of money. At that time, he told her he was going to pursue work opportunities in Galveston, Texas. Three hours later, he killed the victims as well as himself.
Prior to Tuesday's sentencing, an offer was made by the district attorney's office for a 1-year deferred sentence with supervised probation.
"I learned that the offer was made without consulting the victim's mother, which is atypical in a case of this nature," Ladd said. "Yesterday, Emanda Mahaffey entered a plea of no contest to the charge of harboring a fugitive. I stood by the offer previously extended to the defendant by our office as a withdrawal of the same would have been improper."
Ladd said he believed Tara Woodlee; Lindsey's mother, had an absolute right to be heard at the hearing. Heather Lara was also allowed to speak. Lara also spoke during Joshua Scott's preliminary hearing Nov. 30.
"Judge (Greg) Johnson graciously allowed Heather Lara, the owner of the home Josh Mahaffey forced his way into moments before cornering Ashleigh in a bathroom and killing her, to make a statement as well," Ladd said.
Ladd said that following the testimony, Johnson refused to accept the deal, which had been brokered and modified the punishment in a stricter form.
"In my opinion, Judge Johnson's handling of the matter is commendable," Ladd said.