SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A woman who shot her ex-husband in a Republic city park received a 20-year prison sentence on Friday. Rachelle Morris, 29, entered an Alford plea five months ago for the death of Josh Morris in August 2008.
Investigators said the Morrises were in a dispute over child visitation. The Morrises' children were sitting in their father's vehicle near the shooting.
An Alford plea means a defendant doesn't admit guilt but concedes prosecutors have enough evidence for a conviction. Last month, Morris' attorneys asked a judge to allow her to withdraw that Alford plea. Prosecutors opposed it, and defense attorneys withdrew their motion during the sentencing hearing on Friday.
Morris could have received a 10- to 30-year sentence for second-degree murder and a sentence of three years or more for armed criminal action. Prosecutors and Josh Morris' family agreed to the 20-year sentence in exchange for the Alford plea so the children wouldn't have to testify at the trial.