Woman sentenced in fatal stabbing

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By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A 39-year-old Winston-Salem woman has pleaded guilty to an August 2007 stabbing that resulted in the death her 49-year-old neighbor, a former Carroll County, Va., resident.

Julialynn Ruth Veach entered an Alford plea in Forsyth Superior Court July 8 in the death of Joel Bryan Melton, formerly of Pipers Gap and a 1976 graduate of Carroll County High School.

An Alford plea is an admission by a defendant that prosecutors have enough evidence to get a conviction, but the defendant does not admit to wrongdoing.

Veach was also charged with assault with the intent to kill for also stabbing John Wayne Kelly.

Melton died from a stab wound to the chest outside his residence at 4025 Winter Hue Drive.

Melton, Veach and Kelly all lived at the same address, with Melton living in a mobile home on the property behind Kelly and Veach's house.

On the night in question in August 2007, the three had been drinking beer together before Melton returned to his place, according to an article about the Veach's plea in the Winston-Salem Journal.

Reports say that Kelly and Veach smoked crack cocaine after Melton left. The couple got into an argument because Veach wanted more beer.

Veach went to the store, and when she returned, Kelly told her he wanted to break up with her.

That's when a fight started, and Veach cut Kelly on the neck with a knife.

After that, Veach grabbed two knives and started chasing Kelly around the yard, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

Kelly called to Melton for help, and Veach stabbed him, the knife going four inches into his chest, according to the report.

Kelly was injured and treated on the scene.

Veach has bipolar disorder and was not taking her medication on the night of the incident, Marilyn Massey, Veach's attorney told the court.

Having pleaded guilty, Veach was sentenced to eight years in prison, receiving credit for the two years incarcerated while awaiting trail, according to the report. The court also recommended psychological, alcohol and substance abuse treatment.