CUERO, Texas (AP) - A South Texas man whose first trial over the 2001 death of his girlfriend ended in a mistrial has pleaded guilty in the case recently featured on a TV crime show.
Ronnie Hendrick of Yorktown pleaded guilty Tuesday afternoon to murder and was sentenced to 22 years in prison in a plea agreement.
The fatal shooting of Pamela Shelly was originally ruled a suicide. The case was reopened in 2008. Hendrick was indicted last October.
A judge in Cuero on Monday declared a mistrial during jury selection and cited publicity from the Sept. 3 broadcast of the TNT program "Cold Justice."
DeWitt County District Attorney Michael Sheppard said Wednesday that jurors in a retrial would have considered the same "very persuasive evidence" heard on the TV show.
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