Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Plea Accepted In Cookeville Murder Case

A Cookeville man, accused of strangling his wife to death more than a year ago has now pleaded guilty in the case. 36-year-old Chad Bell agreed to the plea on a reduced charge of second degree murder in return for a 23-year prison sentence. He also pleaded guilty to a charge of abusing a corpse for which he was sentenced to two years in prison. Bell has been behind bars since October of 2008 when he was initially arrested. He had told police and relatives that his wife went missing, but later allegedly confessed to killing her and dismembering her body. Police say they were never able to uncover any motive for the killing, other than what Bell told them -- that he and his wife got into an argument that turned physical and he used his hands to choke her to death, while their three-year-old son was asleep in the same house on Walton Trail. The district attorney's office says they discussed the plea deal with the victim's family before agreeing to it.