A Mississippi woman who was found guilty of her part in beating a man to death in 2017 was sentenced to life behind bars, according to reports.
A local CBS station in Jackson, Mississippi reported that 47-year-old Stephanie Ward was found guilty of the first-degree murder of Roger Lee Scruggs, Jr. and hindering prosecution, by a Yazoo County Circuit Court jury on Saturday.
On the night of Nov. 22, 2017, Ward and John Henry May took Scruggs to a rural area on Wildwood Road, according to authorities.
May provided testimony that he and Ward murdered Scruggs by beating him to death, then loading his body into May’s truck.
Scruggs’ body was stored in the truck for more than a week, prosecutors said, before the duo transported him back to Wildwood Road on Dec. 1, 2017, to make it look like Scruggs died from an ATV accident.
The next day, Ward reportedly called the Yazoo County Coroner to say her "brother," Scruggs, had been found by an unknown passerby.
An investigation led by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI) found Scruggs’ murder was likely motivated by money,
Just two days after reporting the discovery of Scruggs’ body, Ward reportedly reached out to Veterans Affairs, claiming to be his wife, not sister, and asking for spousal benefits.
After receiving the initial benefits check, she put a down payment on a new Ford SUV in May’s name, who pleaded guilty to the murder of Scruggs, the station reported.
On Saturday, Ward was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for first-degree murder, as well as five years for hindering prosecution. Both sentences will run consecutively.