EDITOR'S NOTE: Because of incorrect information provided to The Post and Courier, the number of years for the defendant's actual years of prison time was incorrectly reported in earlier versions of this story.
A trial underway for 23-year-old Jessie James Murphy, Jr., ended Thursday when he entered a guilty plea to a voluntary manslaughter charge in the 2009 slaying of a West Ashley woman.
Murphy had been charged with murder in the death of Kathryn Keener, 49. His trial began in Charleston County General Sessions Court on Monday and the plea came after three days of testimony.
Murphy was sentenced to 25 years in prison, suspended upon the service of 13 years with three years probation, according to a news release from the 9th Circuit Solicitor's Office.
Two co-defendants, Ronald McKinley and Jamal Dover await their trials on charges of accessory after the fact to a felony. They are accused of destroying evidence in the case.
Keener disappeared in August 2009. Days later, her body was found in a pond near where her burned-out sport utility vehicle had been left. Murphy, who was an acquaintance, was charged with murder.
In opening arguments this week, prosecutors said Keener had a crack cocaine habit that she could not shake and had bought drugs from dealers in the Red Top area.
On the day she was killed, she reportedly loaned her Toyota 4Runner to Murphy, which was a common practice for her to do in exchange for drugs.
The trial was the second for Murphy. His first trial in the summer ended because of juror issues.
Keener's relatives last heard from her before her mother's birthday party on Aug. 1, 2009, an event she was supposed to be part of but never showed up for.
Investigators found her body in the pond on Bear Swamp Road. The SUV had been burned so badly that the license plate and vehicle identification number were obliterated. A burned section of a car door is among the evidence items in the courtroom.