Accomplice in 1986 Double Slaying in Sharp Co. Pleads Guilty

ASH FLAT, AR - A 20-year-old murder case has ended in Sharp County.  Authorities say a Kentucky man avoided the death penalty by pleading guilty to manslaughter charges.

James Snyder, Jr. reached a deal with prosecutors on the lesser charges in the deaths of Terry and Kathy Watts.  Snyder faced two charges of capital murder and faced the death penalty, but was sentenced to five years in prison.

In a separate trial, Snyder testified against Steven Wertz, who was convicted and sentenced to die for the killings.

Police say Terry and Kathy Watts were killed in front of their infant son as the result of a custody dispute involving the 5-year-old daughter of Terry Watts.  At the time of the Watts' slayings, Wertz was married to the girl's mother.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)