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Girl, 14, Sentenced to Life in Prison in Boyfriend’s Killing

August 21, 1991

HERNANDO, Miss. (AP) _ A 14-year-old girl was sentenced to life in prison for luring an 18-year- old boyfriend to his death at the hands of another boyfriend.

Darla Jo Swinford was too young under state law to receive the death penalty because she was less than 16 when the crime was committed. She would become eligible for parole after serving 10 years.

After sentencing Tuesday, DeSoto County Judge George C. Carlson Jr. set bond at $20,000, and Swinford was freed pending an appeal.

Last month, a jury convicted Swinford in the Dec. 28, 1990, shooting death of James Michael ″Jamie″ Medlin.

Prosecutors said the girl lured Medlin to a deserted area where her 19- year-old lover, George Arthur Johnson Jr., killed him. Swinford contended she crouched behind Medlin’s car and didn’t know Johnson would kill Medlin.

Prosecutors said Swinford started dating Medlin to make Johnson jealous.

Johnson admitted firing the gun and is serving a life sentence for murder plus 20 years for conspiracy to commit murder during a robbery.

After the killing, Johnson and Swinford fled to Florida in Medlin’s car.

A friend of Johnson’s, Richard Lee Branum, 19, is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in the crime. Branum helped dispose of the body behind an industrial park.

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