New Albany great-grandmother faces decades in prison after guilty plea


by Bryan Baker

Posted on June 14, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Updated Sunday, Oct 27 at 6:18 AM

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WHAS11) -- New Albany great-grandmother 75-year old Nettie Luckett, who had no previous criminal history and no documented evidence of current medical problems, pleaded guilty Thursday to a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter. She admitted killing her 49-year-old son-in-law, Doug Randolph, just four days before trial was set to begin.

"This is unusual in the fact that you have a defendant that looks a little bit like my grandma used to, so that is a little different," said Floyd County prosecuting attorney Steve Owen.

Police said Luckett shot Randolph after the two got in to a fight at Luckett's New Albany home in August of last year. Court documents show Luckett bought a .38 caliber handgun about a month before the crime. She fired it twice, and one bullet struck Randolph in the back of the head. After the shooting, prosecutors say Luckett picked up the phone, calmly called police, told them where the gun was, and admitted to the crime.

Luckett's daughter, Crystal Moss, told WHAS11 last year the shooting was an accident, details that would come out in trial.

But it never got that far. Luckett, according to the prosecutor, offered simply, "Yes," to the judge when asked previous questions about the plea agreement.

"She was not emotional at all," said Owen. "There was no sign of emotion, there was no crying, she was very straightforward and direct."

Authorities said the motive is a mystery and that family members related to both Luckett and Randolph are "perplexed."

Luckett faces 30 years in prison, and will serve a minimum of 15 years per Indiana state law.

She had pleaded not guilty to murder, and her trial date was on June 18. The plea followed a surprise reversal in April, when she had agreed to plead guilty but decided not to before the court appearance.

Luckett saw Randolph often at her home, and she took care of her grand kids -- Randolph's children with Luckett's daughter.

She'll be formally sentenced on July 12.