Teen takes lesser charge, pleads guilty in killing

CLARKVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A youth who was 15 at the time a Clarksville businessman was killed inside his home has taken a plea bargain that sent him to prison for 20 years.

John Patrick George pleaded guilty on Monday to second-degree murder in the June 2009 shooting death of 50-year-old Gilbert Hart in what prosecutors describe as a hired murder. George had been indicted on a first-degree murder charge. In return for the lesser charge, George agreed to testify for the state against Hart's widow and daughter, according to The Leaf-Chronicle (http://bit.ly/pYZ9mt ).

A fourth person charged, Hart's son Alex Hart, has pleaded guilty to murder conspiracy and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Gilbert Hart's widow, Rebecca Francis Hart, is charged with soliciting first-degree murder. The couple's daughter, Rebecca Rey Hart, is also charged in the case.


(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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