Twin Oaks woman pleads to voluntary manslaughter in 2017 shooting

Crime Watch
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Cori Cotton and Bret Stroud

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Twin Oaks woman has pleaded no contest to a charge of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting of a woman in late March 2017, according to court records.

Cori Cotton, 35, will receive a three-year prison term under the conditions of a plea agreement reached Friday. Charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder were dismissed under the agreement.

Sentencing is set for Oct. 1.

A jury failed to reach a verdict during Cotton’s trial in July and a mistrial was declared. She had been scheduled for a retrial before Friday’s development.

Cotton shot 39-year-old Kristin Goldsberry twice in the head during an argument in the Twin Oaks area, according to court documents. She also fired at but missed Goldsberry’s boyfriend.

The boyfriend told investigators he ran into the woods and hid for at least a day before returning to his motorhome and alerting authorities.

Questioned by investigators, Cotton’s boyfriend, Bret Stroud, admitted to helping bury Goldsberry’s body in a shallow grave near a residence in the 19000 block of Back Canyon road.

Cotton was originally arrested in April 2017, but the District Attorney’s office dismissed the charges and requested further investigation.

Charges were refiled about a year ago.

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