Boyfriend of Phenix City girl pleads not guilty to her murder

By Laura Ann Sills - bioemail

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) -Phenix City authorities catch a break in a two year old murder case.

The boyfriend of 21-year-old Crystal Bailey pled not guilty to her murder Wednesday afternoon.

Even though the arraignment hearing lasted less than ten minutes, the emotions in the courtroom were very intense. Both families heard Bradley Stokes plead not guilty to the murder of Bailey.

Phenix City Police found Bailey dead from a gunshot wound in her home on Terrace Drive on April 29th, 2008.

A sentencing agreement was set for July 9th.

Stokes' attorney said a settlement has been negotiated for a lesser charge.  "It is an emotional case for both sides and these are always difficult cases, but we have worked long and hard on it.  We think it is probably a just resolution under the circumstances.  That does not mean that we do not always like what happened but there were a lot of factors that we could not control," said his attorney, Susan James.

The Russell County District Attorney's office would not comment on their side of the case.

Sources close to the investigation tell me both sides have agreed to a manslaughter charge and 200 months in prison.

News Leader Nine will be in the courtroom and will bring you coverage you can count on in this case.

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