Man Who Pleaded Not Guilty in Wifes Murder Changes Plea

A Saginaw man will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars for pleading guilty to murder in the death of his wife.

The case is unusual in that 52-year-old Lenerd James originally pleaded not guilty for stabbing his wife, 51-year-old Vernida Hicks on April 20, 2020, but changed his plea to guilty last week. Prosecutors say James hid in the back seat of Hicks’ car while she was at work and stabbed her when she got in. He had already spent more than 1,000 days in jail due to a backlog of cases from the COVID-19 pandemic.

A hearing this Wednesday will determine if the open murder plea will be for first or second degree murder.