Suspect accepts plea agreement in Arkansas murder case in 2013 shooting death of his friend


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YELLVILLE, Arkansas — A Lead Hill man has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and accepted a 20-year sentence in a plea agreement with prosecutors in the 2013 shooting death of his friend.

The Baxter Bulletin reports ( ) that 31-year-old Joseph Leo Saylors avoided a potential sentence of life in prison after he entered a guilty plea in Marion County Court in the Nov. 17, 2013, shooting death of Jody Rogers. Saylors, had faced a charge of first-degree murder, which carries a sentence of 10 to 40 years or life in prison.

Saylors admitted using a .22-caliber pistol to shoot Rogers through the heart and leaving him in a ditch alongside his brother's Monarch home.

Authorities say Saylors and Rogers were friends and the shooting occurred after a fistfight between the two.

Information from: The Baxter Bulletin,

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