A Tennessee man arrested four years ago in Pasco County on murder charges for the 2003 disappearance of his wife, pleaded guilty Monday to a lesser charge in a Tennessee court, according to a media report.
Tyrone N. Tackett, 42, who was arrested July 13, 2011, at a home in Dade City, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter Monday in a Sumner County, Tenn., courtroom, The Tennessean reported.
Tackett refused to admit he had anything to do with his wife’s disappearance when he accepted the plea deal. He was sentenced to a five-year prison term.
Due to the amount of time he has been in custody, nearly four years, and because only 30 percent of his sentence must be served, Tackett will be released April 15 and will serve a two-year supervised probation, according to The Tennessean.
Tackett was arrested by members of the Hendersonville (Tenn.) Police Department with assistance from Pasco County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Florida Department of Law Enforcement members.
Tackett was originally charged with first-degree murder and solicitation to commit murder after authorities said he hired someone to kill his wife, Salena.
Salena Tackett, who was 25 at the time of her disappearance, was reported missing on Jan. 31, 2003, by her husband. He told authorities she left the Hendersonville home she shared with her husband and their then-3-year-old daughter with at least $60,000 missing from the safe.
The solicitation charge was dropped because of an eight-year statute of limitations.
In a video posted on the paper’s website, Tackett said he pleaded guilty because it was in his best interest to do so. When Judge Paul G. Summers asked if he was giving a no contest plea to the charges, Tackett contended he was not guilty of killing his wife despite accepting the deal.
“What it means to me, your honor, is that I’m not guilty,” Tackett said in the video. “That I pled that I’m guilty and it’s in my in my best interest to plead that I’m guilty. But I don’t agree to the facts that the state claims.”
A short time after the disappearance, Tackett left Tennessee for Florida, with the couple’s daughter. He was arrested less than a week later in Dade City and just three days after a grand jury indictment for first-degree murder.