Tampa woman pleads guilty to Hyde Park murder; sentenced to 30 years in prison

Melissa McNutt doesn’t look like a cold-blooded criminal, but prosecutor Scott Harmon said that’s what made her so dangerous.

"She signals Mr. Heilig to her car and he gets in her car, and he is driven to his death," Harmon said.

Harmon argued that during a bond hearing nearly four years ago.

Prosecutors said on the night of Sep. 30, 2018, McNutt lured the victim, Justin Heilig, a stranger she picked up in Ybor City.

Photo: Justin Heilig's final Facebook post hours before his murder

Justin Heilig's final Facebook post hours before his murder

Heilig's last Facebook post had a picture of himself with the caption: "Late nights with a selfie."

Hours later, he was dead.

Prosecutors said McNutt robbed, stabbed and shot him. She then drove him to Hyde Park and left him there to die.

A Tampa detective said that home surveillance video showed Heilig banging on doors and begging for help before he died from his injuries.

But prosecutors said what did McNutt in was a Pandora bracelet and a bloody knife with her DNA found at the crime scene.

Four years later, the case was back in a Tampa courtroom on Tuesday. The 29-year-old was facing a first-degree murder charge but instead, she pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree murder and robbery with a firearm.

Photo: Pandora bracelet left behind at the scene in Hyde Park

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Tampa judge Michael Williams addressed McNutt in court.

"How do you wish to plea to those charges?" asked Williams.

"Guilty in my best interest," responded McNutt.

As part of the plea agreement, McNutt will serve 30 years in prison, followed by 10 years of probation.

She will also have to cooperate with the state if any others face criminal charges in the future.