GASTONIA, N.C. — A North Carolina woman has pleaded guilty to reduced charges in the stabbing death of a man last year.

Local media outlets reported that 30-year-old Iva Dawn Helms of Belmont pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Monday in the October stabbing death of 61-year-old Jimmy Dellinger of Lowell.

Helms was sentenced to between 15 and 20 years in prison. The plea agreement kept her from facing a possible sentence of life in prison without parole on a first-degree murder charges.

She asked Dellinger’s family to forgive her.

District Attorney Locke Bell said Dellinger and Helms went to a party Oct. 15 and returned to his home intoxicated late that night. Bell said Dellinger had been drinking alcohol and Helms had been using drugs. The prosecutor said the stabbing followed an argument.

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