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A parolee who killed a sexual partner accepted a 35-year, no-parole prison sentence on Tuesday that will keep him behind bars until he is 71 years old.

Antonio Dewayne Briggs of Batesville pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for the July 1, 2017, slaying of William David Kendrick of Sherwood.

The 37-year-old victim was found stabbed to death in his residence two days later at the Treehill Park Condos on Shelby Road by a roommate, Philip Ross, court files show. Kendrick's safe had been pried open and his cellphone was gone. The killer left behind a series of bloody footprints, police said.

Briggs was arrested by Sherwood police five months later, but he was already in jail when DNA collected in the residence was traced to him in December.

He had been jailed since his July 25, 2017 arrest -- about three weeks after the slaying -- at the Chapel Ridge apartments at 5900 McCain Place where North Little Rock police found him hiding under a tenant's bed.

Residents Jamiha and Janiya Charles had called police to report someone was in their apartment, according to an arrest report. Briggs had $330 on him when police caught him, which Jamiha Charles told investigators was the exact amount of money she had in her wallet.

Police said Briggs had apparently gone to the wrong apartment. He told detectives he was looking for the man who sold him "bad weed," and pried open Jamiha and Janiya Charles' door with a crowbar when he could not get anyone to answer, the report said.

He admitted taking the money, and has also pleaded guilty to a residential burglary charge.

Briggs, represented by attorney Leslie Borgognoni, declined an opportunity by special Circuit Judge Hugh Finklestein to address the court.

Deputy prosecutor Jeanna Sherrill said Briggs, 37, cannot qualify for early release because of his 2003 conviction on armed robbery and kidnapping charges. Briggs was sentenced to 18 years in prison and paroled in April 2015.

Court records show Briggs was one of three Pulaski County men linked to a January 2002 home-invasion robbery in which two armed masked men held up six people at a Rose Bowl watching party on Sunflower Circle, locked the victims inside the home, then led police on a high-speed chase that ended with a car crash on College Avenue.

For his role in the holdup, Briggs, then 21 and living in Jacksonville, pleaded guilty in July 2003 to residential burglary, three counts of aggravated robbery and six counts of kidnapping in exchange for an 18-year prison sentence that would be followed by a 12-year suspended sentence.

Co-defendant, Eric Lemonte Shead of Jacksonville, now 37, was sentenced to 25 years in prison in June 2002 after his conviction at trial on five counts of kidnapping, three counts of aggravated robbery and one count of residential burglary. He is currently in prison with a potential parole date of October 2019.

The getaway driver, Matthew Wayne Nichols of Little Rock, pleaded guilty in June 2002 to aggravated assault, fleeing and conspiracy to deliver marijuana in exchange for a 10-year prison sentence that required him to testify against the others.

Nichols told police he didn't know about the others' plans to rob the home and abuse the occupants. The three of them had bought marijuana at the residence earlier, and he thought they were back to buy more, he said.

Nichols, now 51, is serving a life sentence for capital murder for burning his 38-year-old girlfriend to death in May 2013 at her Water Street home in North Little Rock.

At his July 2014 trial, Nichols testified that Jessie Renee McFadden's death was an accident. Nichols told Pulaski County jurors that he only wanted to disfigure McFadden so badly that no other man would ever again want her.

Prosecutors said Nichols attacked McFadden with gasoline when she tried to break up with him and kick him out of her home.

Metro on 10/31/2018

Print Headline: Arkansas parolee who killed sexual partner gets 35 years in prison

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