Meridian murder suspect pleads to lesser charge

A 29-year-old Meridian man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for manslaughter in the burning death of Jeannette Young in May 2000.
Darrell Dewayne Gill pleaded guilty Monday to the charge in Lauderdale County Circuit Court. He originally had been charged with murder in the case.
District attorney Bilbo Mitchell said prosecutors agreed to a plea bargain "because we had two witnesses that said Mr. Gill was the one that did it."
"Both of them were with him and they were both convicted felons in the past. While we think the jury would have decided our way, they also could have decided the other way," Mitchell said.
Prosecutors said Young died as a result of inhaling superheated gases when she was reportedly set on fire after Gill doused her with gasoline. A passerby drove Young to Riley Hospital but she later died of her injuries. She was burned over most of her body, prosecutors said.