3 of 6 charged in death of inmate enter guilty pleas

Published 10:34 am Wednesday, November 20, 2019

JOHNSON CITY (AP) — Three of six men charged in a Tennessee inmate’s death have pleaded guilty.

The Johnson City Press reports the three took plea deals Monday on charges related to the fatal assault on 29-year-old Joseph Lockner, who was found unresponsive last December at the Washington County Detention Center and died three days later.

Assistant District Attorney General Justin Irick says 23-year-old John Z. Woodard pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and was sentenced to six years in prison. Irick says 38-year-old Jonathan R. Pearson pleaded guilty to aggravated assault resulting in death and was sentenced to six years and 43-year-old Steve Necessary pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated assault resulting in death and other unrelated charges and was sentenced to eight years.

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A fourth person previously pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact and two others still face charges.