MARCH 3, 2004 - Posted at 7:35 a.m. CDT
POCAHONTAS, AR - A man set to go on trial for the murder of four family members struck a plea deal that allows him to avoid the death penalty.
28-year-old Charles "Chad" Wayne Green agreed to testify against his father in a later trial over the deaths that prosecutors say were spurred by a debt for illegal drugs. Green pleaded no contest yesterday to one charge of first-degree murder and kidnapping in exchange for the testimony against his father.
Green will serve two concurrent 20-year terms in the July 29, 1998 slayings of Carl Allen Elliott; his wife, Lisa: and their children, Felicia and Gregory.
He entered his plea just before jury selection was to continue a second day yesterday.
47-year-old Billy Green is to be tried on May 10, and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Prosecutors said in court yesterday that the son saw his father kill Carl Elliott.
Chad Green had been charged with capital murder. He also pleaded no contest to two counts of raping a 7-year-old girl eight years ago, and he will serve two concurrent 20-year terms for those attacks, too. His first chance at parole will be after serving 28 years, or 70 percent of the sentences.