Patton Takes Last-Minute Plea Bargain In Washington County Murder Trial

Posted: April 2, 2014 at 5 a.m.

STAFF PHOTO DAVID GOTTSCHALK James Patton, second from right, the last of four Prairie Grove residents accused of beating Ronnie Lee Bradley to death, visits Tuesday with his attorneys, Chris Nebben, left, Drew Ledbetter, second from left, and Courtney Cline in Judge William Storey's courtroom at the Washington County Courthouse in Fayetteville.

James Patton, the last of four people who beat Ronnie Lee Bradley to death, changed his mind and took a plea bargain Tuesday after five jurors were seated at his trial.

Legal Lingo

Plea Bargain

An agreement between a defendant and prosecutors where defendants agree to plead guilty to some or all of the charges against them in exchange for concessions from the prosecutors. These agreements allow prosecutors to focus their time and resources on other cases, and reduce the number of trials that judges need to oversee. In plea bargains, prosecutors usually agree to reduce defendants’ punishment. They often accomplish this by reducing the number or severity of the charges against defendants.


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