ST. LOUIS COUNTY • A Lemay woman was sentenced Monday to five years in prison for fatally shooting her aunt in 2014.
Jamie Onkle, 26, made a plea agreement with prosecutors by admitting last week to voluntary manslaughter and armed criminal action in the Feb. 16, 2014, shooting death of her aunt, Wendy Hall-Onkle.
Onkle shot her aunt with a 7.62 mm rifle after a fight inside Onkle’s home in the 100 block of Mann Street.
Onkle was originally charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action. She was sentencedby St. Louis County Circuit Judge Gloria C. Reno to five years for manslaughter and a concurrent sentence of three years for armed criminal action.
Wendy Hall-Onkle’s husband previously told the Post-Dispatch that his wife and her niece were arguing on Facebook about attending a friend’s bachelorette party the night before. He said his wife had been drinking and had gone to Onkle’s house to confront her about the argument.
One of Onkle’s lawyers previously said she was considering a self-defense claim; her current lawyer, Jeremy Beaird, said the plea agreement was the appropriate outcome.
“Jamie thought it was better to take the known quantity of a plea agreement instead of going to trial,” Beaird said.
Onkle could have faced up to 15 years for the manslaughter conviction. She has no felony criminal history in Missouri.
Onkle responded to questions from the judge with one-word answers and offered no testimony. She declined a reporter’s request for comment.
Hall-Onkle’s son, Chris Bolton, 23, of St. Louis, said he was dissatisfied with the plea deal and sentence. He said his mother’s death has been hard on the entire family.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t angry with Jamie, but I do forgive her and I just want to say that I don’t agree with the sentencing,” Bolton said in court. “It’s a drop in the bucket compared to the damage she’s done to my family.”
Relatives on both sides of the courtroom sobbed openly as Onkle was placed in handcuffs.