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Inmate pleads no contest in 1999 death

By The Associated Press

This article was published November 9, 2012 at 10:15 a.m.

— An Arkansas inmate serving time on a drug conviction has pleaded no contest to manslaughter in the 1999 death of his estranged wife.

Johnny Frank Evans Jr. pleaded no contest Thursday to manslaughter in the death of Mary Newman-Evans. The El Dorado News-Times reported that Johnny Evans received a 10-year sentence for the plea, but it is to be served at the same time as the 76-year prison term he received in 2007 for multiple drug convictions.

Mary Newman-Evans was reported missing in October 1999. Her skeletal remains were found in 2001 in Strong.

The case remained cold until it was revisited by El Dorado police investigators in October. Johnny Evans was originally charged with first-degree murder, but the charge was downgraded as part of this week’s plea deal.

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