orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

September 11, 2013

Texas man pleads guilty in SW Missouri death


Associated Press

PINEVILLE, Mo. — A Texas man about to go on trial in the shooting death of a southwest Missouri man instead pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

Twenty-eight-year-old Caleb Saddler, of Del Rio, Texas, pleaded guilty Tuesday to involuntary manslaughter in the May 2012 death of 31-year-old Michael Smith of Goodman.

The Joplin Globe reports ( http://bit.ly/1b4Fu8F ) Saddler was scheduled for trial this week on first-degree murder and armed criminal action charges.

The plea bargain will require Saddler to serve at least five years in prison. He'll be sentenced Nov. 5.

Prosecutors say Smith was shot at a home near Goodman. His burned body was found about a week later inside a barrel that had been capped with cement and dumped in a ravine about four miles south of Joplin.