PONTIAC (WWJ/AP) – An ex-convict charged in the home invasion and knife-slaying of an elderly Royal Oak woman has pleaded guilty in the case.

Tonia Watson, 41, pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder in the death of Nancy Dailey and agreed to testify against Alan Wood, her co-defendant. With the plea, she could be freed one day, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Wood and Watson were charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Dailey, who was found tied up in her home on Nov. 20, 2011.  Authorities said the pair, both parolees, befriended Dailey and did yard work for her, then robbed her and slit her throat.

In pre-trial testimony last week, Royal Oak Detective Carl Baretto detailed what Watson told him about the crime:

” … Watson then stated that Wood left Dailey crying in pain on the floor – Watson stated that Wood pulled out and unfolded his knife and told her, “you know what I have to do.” Watson said she knew that Wood was going to kill Nancy Daily because she would be able to identfy them. Watson then said that Wood used his knife to cut Nancy Daily’s throat and stab her in the neck,” Baretto read in court.

It was a crime that stirred fear and uncertainty in a community where many had felt safe, prompting a call for a “No Knock” list that would prevent strangers from coming to residents’ doors. (More here).

Prosecutors said the plea deal depends on Watson’s cooperation. Jury selection for Wood begins Jan. 7.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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