CHEYENNE – A woman who fatally stabbed another woman last year was sentenced Friday morning to five to eight years in prison.
Tanya Pearson pleaded guilty in April to involuntary manslaughter per a plea agreement. Laramie County District Judge Thomas Campbell sentenced her Friday. The charge carries a five-year minimum sentence, but she faced up to 30 years in prison under the original charges, which also included aggravated assault and battery.
Prosecuting attorney Caitlin Harper said Pearson was having a long-term affair with the husband of the victim, Jennifer Pratt. Pratt was planning on moving out of the house and leaving her husband.
Harper said Pearson and Pratt got into a fight in April 2018 in Martin Luther King Jr. Park. This is when Pearson, who had a switchblade, stabbed Pratt three times.
Pratt died alone, bleeding out in the park before officers could get to the scene. She called her husband as she was dying, leaving a voicemail begging him to call an ambulance, Harper said. He never got her call because he was on the phone with Pearson, who had fled the scene and washed the blood off her car with a bottle of Gatorade.
Harper said Pratt lost her home, husband and life to Pearson. The state asked for 10 to 12 years incarceration for Pearson, which was ultimately denied by Campbell.
Defense attorney Diane Lozano said the whole situation started off as an ugly love triangle. She said Pearson told her if she could take it back she would.
“It’s so hard for me, because I’ve never been in trouble, and I know I can’t bring Jennifer back,” Pearson said, tearfully addressing the court. “No matter how many times I say I’m sorry, it’s not going to take Jennifer back.”
Three of her family members spoke at her sentencing hearing. They all said Pearson had never gotten into trouble, wasn’t a violent person and was very sweet.
Harper said Pearson has never shown remorse throughout this whole process, but the judge disagreed. He said it’s clear to him that she feels remorseful. She might not be showing it the same way one would see on TV, but he said he thinks it’s real.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever said this,” Campbell said to Pearson and her family. “My best to all of you.”