A woman who hired a hit man to kill the husband she claimed had abused her for 30 years has been sentenced to life in prison.
Evelyn Garrison, 56, of the Ramsey Springs community in Stone County, accepted a plea deal to first-degree murder Monday in Harrison County Circuit Court. She had been indicted on a capital murder charge in the Jan. 24, 2015, killing of her husband, Timothy “Timmy” Garrison.
Circuit Judge Chris Schmidt sentenced her to life in prison, the only sentence allowed by state law for first-degree murder.
“If I could sell my soul to a million devils and bring him back, I’d do it in a heartbeat,” Garrison said as she wept before Schmidt imposed the penalty.
Timmy Garrison, the father of four children, owned Wood-Mizer, a sales center for saw mill equipment.
Garrison admitted she had asked Emmett Entriken, a childhood friend, to hire someone to kill her husband and to make it look like a robbery.
Entriken, now 67 and held for trial on a capital murder charge, hired his cousin, Joey Parks, to do the killing, according to previous testimony of Stone County Sheriff’s Capt. Ray Boggs.
Parks, 23, is serving life without parole for the capital murder of Timmy Garrison.
A Harrison County grand jury indicted the three in May.
Parks has admitted killing the husband by beating him with a bat, cutting his throat and stabbing him in the neck twice. The killing occurred at Timmy Garrison’s business on Cable Bridge Road.
Evelyn Garrison told the court on Monday that she and her husband had married when she was 16, and the abuse began when she was seven months pregnant with their first child.
“It just continued,” she said. “He abused me and he abused our children, and I would take them with me and leave him. He would find me and bring me home.”
The first hit was planned for several weeks, according to testimony. But the couple’s grandchildren showed up at the business the day it was to happen so the killing was delayed.
Garrison said she had tried to call off the hit when she learned her husband would be going to Louisiana for three days. She said she planned to leave him and go where he couldn’t find her.
“This was a horrible mistake,” she said. “It wasn’t supposed to happen.”
Garrison said she hopes she can one day have a relationship once again with her children and grandchildren.
“I have hurt so many people,” she said. “So many people.”
Evelyn Garrison made the 911 call for help after the killing occurred at the family’s business. Stone County investigators initially thought Garrison had been shot because of the severity of his injuries.
Her attorney, Phillip Wittmann, told the judge Garrison “lost her moral compass out of desperation.
“But this didn’t just happen overnight. This was decades long of abuse that it got to the point that she saw this as her escape.”
She didn’t fight for a divorce because she had no money for a lawyer, Wittmann said. Her husband made the money for the household, he said.
“I’m not justifying her actions,” Wittmann said. “It’s more of an explanation of her mind-set. She couldn’t take it any more.”
Before imposing the sentence, Schmidt told Garrison it’s a shame that a man has been killed and that his wife, the mother of that man’s children, is going to prison.
“That is the tragedy of all tragedies,” Schmidt said.
Evelyn Garrison, Entrekin and Parks were indicted on capital murder charges in May 2016.
Parks, 23, was sentenced on a guilty plea on March 10.
Entrekin is set for trial Sept. 18, Assistant District Attorney Matthew Burrell said.
Staff writer Margaret Baker contributed to this report.