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West Virginia

August 19, 2007

31 women are serving life in prison in state

There are 16 times more men than women serving life sentences in West Virginia’s prisons.

But that doesn’t mean women aren’t capable of some seriously violent crimes of their own.

Thirty-one women are serving life sentences at the all-female Lakin Correctional Center outside of Point Pleasant.

An upcoming addition to the prison will be Michelle Michael, a former Morgantown nurse. A Kanawha County jury last month convicted Michael of fatally drugging her husband and then burning the couple’s house to cover the crime.

Michael will be formally sentenced next month in Morgantown.

Here’s a look at the ranks that Michael is destined to join:

• A Logan jury last year convicted Alice Adams, 32, along with accomplice Brian Johnson, 21, of killing 48-year-old William Joseph Vinson at his home.

The pair was there to steal Vinson’s Klonopin, an anti-anxiety medication, news reports said. After Vinson was killed, the two wrapped his body in a green sheet and hid it under a pile of tires across from Adams’ home.

Johnson is serving his sentence at Mount Olive Correctional Center.

• Kathy Agent, 51, admitted she hitchhiked a ride from a Pennsylvania man passing through the state to her Oak Hill home on the promise they would have sex.

Scott Phelps, who was hiding at her home because he was charged with two felonies, assigned Agent to bring a man home with her so he could steal his car and flee. Agent and Phelps, 45, attacked and stabbed John Moran as he and Agent were climbing into her bed, news reports said.

Phelps is currently lodged at Mount Olive.

• Patricia Aldridge, 46, was convicted for her part in the death of her husband, veteran WSAZ-TV cameraman Millard Aldridge, whose body was found beaten with a hammer in 1998 in a rural section of Wayne County.

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