Wise sentenced to life without parole for murder

ALBANY, Ga. -- Tiffany Wise, 34, has been sentenced to life without parole for the murder of 88-year-old Mattie Mabel Berry.

On June 23, a jury of nine women and three men found Wise guilty of malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault for the beating death of Berry on May 3, 2009.

It took the jury approximately two hours to return a guilty verdict in the case.

Throughout the trial the prosecution, led by Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards, contended that Wise drove to Berry's home on May 3 with intent to rob Berry. Wise knew Berry from the 88-year-old's volunteer work at the Albany Rescue Mission where Wise lived.

Wise admitted to detectives in an interview that was presented to jurors that she had consumed cocaine the day before the murder and that she had not slept for two days.

Throughout the trial, Wise testified that she was innocent of the crime. In the last day of testimony Wise changed her original story.

Previously, Wise had told detectives that a man named Herbert Washington, who she identified as a friend of her daughter's father, had beaten Berry. Officers said Wise later confessed to police that she acted alone in the crime.

During her testimony Wise again stated that she was innocent but said she made-up Herbert Washington and that a woman who was Wise's roommate at the Albany Rescue Mission, killed Berry.

Berry was found beaten to death in the backyard of her home on the morning of May 3. The 88-year-old had multiple head wounds and bruises from being hit repeatedly and was found blindfolded and covered by a blanket.