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Monday, May 21, 2018, 9:37 p.m.

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Arkansas teen pleads guilty to killing man, stealing his truck

By Emily Walkenhorst

This article was published April 20, 2018 at 2:54 p.m.

An 18-year-old Arkansas man will spend up to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree murder and aggravated robbery, his attorney said Friday.

De’Kota Despain of Magnolia was 16 when he was charged two years ago in the killing of Douglas Harwell, 53, according to court records. At the time, prosecutors charged Despain with capital murder, aggravated residential burglary, aggravated robbery and theft of property worth $25,000 or more.

Despain pleaded guilty Thursday in exchange for prosecutors reducing the capital murder charge to first-degree murder and dropping the aggravated residential burglary and theft of property charges, defense attorney Jeff Rosenzweig said.

A circuit court judge sentenced Despain to 40 years in prison for the murder charge and 10 years to be served after that time for the robbery charge, Rosenzweig said.

Prosecutors said Despain and a friend went to Harwell’s house to kill him and rob him. They shot him to death, and Despain drove Harwell’s truck away from the house.

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