MADISONVILLE-A murder case more than two years old came to a close Monday as the two people involved pleaded guilty in Monroe County Criminal Court.
Anita Marie Strickland, 42, Fairview Road, Tellico Plains,was charged with first-degree murder in the Oct. 11 killing of her husband, Michael Strickland, but she pleaded down to a lesser charge of second-degree murder.
Her brother, Chris Smallin, 32, Reliance Road, Tellico Plains, had a charge of with tampering with evidence dismissed but pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact. He received a sentence of two years suspended and was ordered to not have any direct contact with the victim’s family. He must also undergo regular drug screenings
Warrants and indictments against the two show Strickland has admitted she shot and killed her husband while Smallin confessed to Monroe County Sheriff’s Detective Brian Turpin he supplied the gun Strickland used in the killing. He also said he helped Strickland cover up the killing and avoid arrest for
nearly two months.
Michael Strickland was found fatally wounded by a gunshot at his garage and residence located at 1810 Fairview Road, Tellico Plains.
While Strickland has admitted she shot her husband, she never gave a reason for the killing but court records show Monday she said she only pled to the charge because she didn’t want the case to go to trial where his family would see another side of him.
Strickland is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 25 where she will face sentencing range of 15-25 years.