Stock takes best interest plea, sentenced for second degree murder in Megan Maxwell murder case

6:50 PM, Jan 9, 2013   |    comments
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Wednesday, an emotional Cocke County family let a convicted killer hear their anger. Jeffery Lee Stock took a "best interest" plea deal for the murder of 19 year-old Megan Maxwell in 2009.

That means he admits evidence exists which could cause a judge or jury to find him guilty.

The 19 year-old Newport girl disappeared in April, 2009. Her remains were discovered November 4th, 2010, in a rural area outside Newport.

Investigators have long pegged Jeffery Lee Stock as a suspect, but authorities did not charge him until 2011.

His trial was set to start this month, but Wednesday he entered a plea for second degree murder, theft, and arson.

Megan Maxwell's family was not happy with the sentence. Stock will spend a little more than 14 years behind bars when they had hoped for life behind bars. She was sentenced to 18 years for the second degree murder charge, but received nearly four years off for time served.

Maxwell's family had a lot of choice words for Stock Wednesday. They said they wanted him to hear them loud and clear that the day was not his day, but Megan's day.

Lisa Maxwell said in court Wednesday morning, "That's what you are Jeff, you are a murder."

Harsh words for a man convicted of killing a 19 year-old girl.

"I didn't know what hate was until you took Megan away from us," said Megan's sister in court.

Hollie Lane, Megan's best friend, told Stock, "I'll never be able to overcome the pain and everything we have had to go through because of this."

Lane was Megan's best friend. Wednesday, she confronted Jeffery Lee Stock for the first time, "You can be cocky and smirk at us and flash your misspelled threat of a tattoo with no remorse, no regret, no soul. You know no soul is hell written all over it."

Instead of a jury trial, Stock took a plea deal. Family and friends had a chance to tell Stock how they felt.

It became heated at times.

Lane yelled once, "Listen to me, this is my time. This is Megan's day, not yours. Do not speak another word."

The court even allowed Stock to fire back his own insults, "I'm not afraid of nothing, never have been my whole life and I don't believe in God."

Stock did not admit guilt in Megan's murder. The state told the court what evidence they had in the case trying to prove he did it.

The District Attorney's Office said they felt a plea deal was warranted in this case.

Megan's family and the Cocke County Sheriff disagree.

Megan's mom, Lisa, said, "I was flabbergasted. We had 30-45 min to make a decision."

Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes, said, "We're not pleased with the amount of time because you are putting a sexual predator out in the communtiy in 14 years that can victimize another family."

The Maxwell's said they were given the option on whether to allow the plea deal. Megan's mom said she feels misled and feared if she didn't take the plea, Stock could have walked.

Still, they know they must move on. Though they feel they will never have closure.

Wednesday's sentence will run concurrently with his federal case. It deals with failing to register as a sex offender in Tennessee.

Also, as part of the plea deal, Stock's father, Terry Stock, who was originally charged with accessory after the fact of first degree murder for Maxwell's murder, will now have the charge dropped to a misdemeanor.

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