Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

A woman convicted of first-degree murder for her role in the 1991 Christmas Eve shooting death of a U.S. Marine was sentenced to 26 years to life in state prison.

Kimberly Andrews, 40, was sentenced Monday in the death of 21-year-old Cpl. Lindell Mitchell.

Mitchell was shot in the back by intruders who forced their way into his Vista apartment shortly before midnight, authorities said.

“It took more than two decades for the defendant to be held responsible for her actions, but ultimately justice was served,” said District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. “The dedicated prosecutors in the Cold Case Homicide Unit and their law enforcement counterparts don’t give up, and this is a great example of the outstanding work they do to bring a measure of closure to victims’ loved ones.”

Mitchell, along with some of his Marine friends, invited Andrews and her friends to a gathering at his apartment. During the get-together, an argument broke out between Andrews and Mitchell’s roommate, according to authorities.

Andrews threatened the Marines that she would be back with others to shoot up the apartment, authorities said.

Later that night, a group of men burst through Mitchell’s door and carried out Andrews’ earlier threat, ultimately shooting Mitchell in the back and killing him.

Investigators were unable to identify the majority of those responsible for the murder, and the case went cold in 2012.

A joint cold case investigation by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service revealed new leads and evidence that resulted in Andrews’ arrest in Louisiana in July 2014.

The continuing investigation also led to the arrest of a second suspect, James Wesley Noble, who was taken into custody in Hemet last fall.

Noble, 59, is scheduled to go to trial Oct. 17 on a charge of first- degree murder.

–City News Service