SPRINGFIELD — A southwest Missouri man has pleaded guilty to killing a woman at a Springfield homeless camp.
Aaron M. Letterman was charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the 2007 death of 44-year-old Tyla Rhodelander of Lebanon, Mo.
Jury selection was about to begin Tuesday when the 26-year-old Letterman surprised prosecutors with an Alford plea — in which a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges that prosecutors have enough evidence to win a conviction.
Prosecutors say Letterman spent several hours in a tent with Rhodelander and struck her repeatedly in the head with a hatchet.
He'll be sentenced Sept. 4, and faces up to life in prison.