Man Accused in Rest Stop Slaying Pleads No Contest to 1st Degree Murder - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Morrilton, AR

Man Accused in Rest Stop Slaying Pleads No Contest to 1st Degree Murder

MORRILTON, AR - The man charged with killing Kristin Laurite at an Interstate-40 rest stop near Morrillton in 2000 has pleaded no contest to first-degree murder.

Ronald James Ward entered the plea yesterday in Conway County Circuit Court at Morrillton.  Ward was being held in Montana, where he is serving life in prison for another killing.  Laurite was killed in 2000, and Ward was linked to the case five years later by DNA.

Officials in Conway County say Ward was returned to Arkansas over the weekend.

Judge Frank Arey accepted Ward's no contest plea during a court session yesterday morning.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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