Jamie Lynn Leach pleaded no contest Wednesday afternoon to a reduced charge of second-degree murder in Faulkner County Circuit Court.
Leach was originally charged with first-degree murder in the Aug. 20, 2012, death of her 24-year-old boyfriend, Cody Bradley.
Bradley was found naked in a bathtub, in a residence shared by the couple, suffering from a fatal gunshot wound. Leach was arrested later the same day, and charged with first-degree murder in the days following.
As part of the plea deal, Leach received 30 years in prison for second-degree murder and received an additional 10-year prison sentence for a firearm enhancement. The sentences are scheduled to run concurrently. Leach will receive approximately 360 days in jail credit.
On October 23, Leach was sentenced to six months in county jail, and received a suspended sentence of two years as result of a Feb. 14 arrest and a possession of a controlled substance charge in Saline County. The arrest occurred while Leach was out on a $50,000 bond.
Both the prosecution and defense agreed Wednesday, if the matter had gone to trial, prosecutors would bring forth evidence to support claims that Leach entered the home, went into the bathroom, pointed a gun at Bradley and shot him once in the chest.
At the time of her plea deal, Leach’s defense had multiple motions pending, including one requesting to suppress statements made by the defendant to police investigators.
Leach began to wipe tears from her face, while visibly crying, as her defense attorney, Frank Shaw, briefly addressed approximately 20 to 30 of Bradley’s family members and supporters.
Shaw said Leach expressed "tremendous sorrow" to him and was "very sorry."
"It can’t bring him back," a court audience member said quietly in response.
A victim impact statement, written by Bradley’s father, was read before the court by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Troy Braswell. In the letter, Bradley’s father recalled his son as his best friend and "my world."
Bradley was also described as a "loving, giving person" whose "life was taken from so many for a reason we will never know."
(Staff writer Lee Hogan can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1246. Follow Lee Hogan on Twitter at twitter.com/LCD_LeeHogan. To comment on this and other stories, log on to thecabin.net.)