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LIVINGSTON COUNTY – It was an emotional morning on the witness stand at trial for the woman who says she and her boyfriend at the time murdered her roomate, sold her belongings and burned her body on the side of Lacey Road in Caledonia.
Mary Neverett, 44, has already pled guilty to felony Manslaughter in the First Degree and agreed to serve 20 years in prison. Now, she says, it’s time for her to ‘tell the truth’ about what happened between her, her boyfriend Aykut ‘Ike’ Ozkaynak and her roomate Patrice Miller in exchange for a possibly more lenient sentence. As she detailed the events of July 4, 2016, she began to cry.
“We killed her,” said Neverett. “We smothered her. In her bed. Ike put a pillow over her head, I climbed on the bed and held her arms down and we killed her. […] Ike took a nap and I got high because I was too nervous to sleep. We tried to put her in a tote but it broke. We folded her in half and put her in a laundry bucket, and put that in the car. We drove to wherever it was that we went. We tried to stop somewhere else but we saw people. Then we put lighter fluid on her and set her on fire. We went to the store and got more because there wasn’t enough.”
Ozkaynak sat still while listening to the testimony.
Neverett detailed a domestic situation with Miller that was less than ideal. Neverett, Ozkaynak, 34, and Miller, 64, shared a one-bedroom apartment in Gates. Neverett and Ozkaynak shared a couch while Miller had the bedroom.
Miller had a knee replacement, did not work and did not move much from the bed. Neverett said that when she wasn’t working, she and Ozkaynak would ‘get high on cocaine and marijuana,’ ‘sell stuff’ and ‘steal from Patrice.’ She and staff at the apartment complex testified that the apartment was always messy and dirty, with dog and cat smells.
Neverett described Miller as ‘a friend’ whom she sometimes called ‘mama,’ but with whom she argued frequently and sometimes intensely.
“She was miserable,” said Neverett. “I tried to do what I could to help her. I’d take her dog out, I’d get things from the store. […] We’d fight a lot, with not having any money. […] Ike said it a couple times, but joking, that because she was so miserable we should kill her, we should smother her, we should get rid of her.”
Members of the victim’s family and an estranged spouse watched the trial in silence.
The trial will continue Wednesday with further testimony, which could include cross examination of Neverett by Ozkaynak’s attorney, Steve Sessler.