By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
IUKA – One of two co-defendants in the December 2009 murder of a Burnsville man pleaded guilty to manslaughter Wednesday in Tishomingo County circuit court.
The guilty plea by Terry L. Sparks, 34, was accepted by Circuit Judge Paul Funderburk in the death of John Reeder Holt. Holt, 84, was found dead on Dec. 23, 2009, in his Burnsville home. An autopsy showed he was beaten to death.
A Tishomingo County grand jury indicted Sparks and her mother, who was also John Holt’s daughter-in-law, Linda F. Holt, 53, on murder charges in June 2011.
The sentence for manslaughter is two to 20 years under Mississippi statute. However, Funderburk postponed Sparks’ sentence at the request of Assistant District Attorney Greg Myer until Sparks testifies at Linda Holt’s trial, per the terms of the plea agreement. She will continue to be held in Alcorn County Jail.
Linda Holt, whose trial is set to begin with jury selection on Monday, was in the courtroom in law enforcement custody to witness her daughter’s plea.
Authorities reported there were no signs of forced entry as they began investigation of Holt’s death.
Less than a month later, Sparks and Linda Holt were arrested by Corinth Police Department as they attempted to cash a $200 check on John Holt’s bank account.