Brandon Eugene Russell pleaded guilty to the 2011 murder of Meco Siler.
Russell had faced a first-degree murder trial in November in Siler's murder, but the trial was moved in place of an older case.
Russell's attorney Bill Speek said Wednesday that his client had pleaded that morning and agreed to a second-degree murder conviction and a 20-year sentence.
Prosecutor Lance Pope said after the hearing that Russell will serve the sentence consecutive to an 8-year sentence on a previous aggravated robbery. He was on parole from the robbery when he killed Siler, 29.
Russell stabbed Siler in her room at the Country Hearth Suites on Jan. 6, 2011, according to witness Joseph Fields.
Fields testified against Russell in a preliminary hearing that year.
Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...