Two enter guilty pleas as accessories in 2011 Quarry Road shooting death

Becky Campbell • May 28, 2014 at 9:03 PM

The last two people involved in a deadly 2011 shooting on Quarry Road in Johnson City pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact of first-degree murder Wednesday.

Ginger Holtsclaw and Anthony Phillips each pleaded guilty to the reduced charge, which was in exchange for their testimony against the man police say actually killed Gary Couch.

Justin “Puff” Stratton was convicted earlier this year of first-degree murder in Couch’s death. Couch was gunned down on Quarry Road after he was driven there by Holtsclaw and Ashley Harold. They had met for the first time while playing pool at Numan’s in downtown Johnson City several hours earlier.

Phillips was also at the bar, but didn’t hang around the girls and Couch. He said he left and rode around with Stratton before they ended up at a car wash on South Roan Street.

Phillips said he believed Stratton intended to buy drugs from Couch but didn’t know of any plan to kill the man.

For his plea, Phillips was sentenced to six years in prison, which was reduced to probation. He’s been jailed since his arrest in 2013 and was to be released after the hearing Wednesday.

Holtsclaw was sentenced to five years in prison, which was also reduced to probation. Her plea was a “best interest” plea, which means she entered the plea to avoid going to trial on the original charge and risk being found guilty by a jury.

Harold 30, was in court Tuesday and her case was dismissed. She also testified at Stratton’s trial, and prosecutors said she was simply a passenger in Holtsclaw’s vehicle that night.

Stratton is serving a life sentence for the murder conviction.

Follow Becky Campbell on Twitter @CampbellinCourt. Like her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/BeckyCampbellJCPress.

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