Man pleads guilty to murder, avoids trial in 2011 slaying of northeast Texas deputy

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NEW BOSTON, Texas — An inmate charged in the 2011 fatal shooting of a Northeast Texas sheriff's deputy has pleaded guilty to murder and avoided a capital murder trial.

A capital murder trial of Tucker Strickland was to begin Friday in New Boston. Instead, he accepted in a plea deal Thursday with the Texas Attorney General's Office with a life prison sentence with the possibility of parole after 30 years. The Attorney General's Office, which was prosecuting the case, wasn't seeking a death sentence.

Investigators say Strickland had been charged with assaulting his mother and was being taken to a competency hearing at the Bowie County Courthouse in New Boston when he overpowered his escort, Bowie County sheriff's Deputy Sherri Jones, shot her with her own gun and fled. He was caught in Arkansas.

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