Two days before his scheduled sentencing, Jarrod G. Wyatt appeared in court Tuesday to plead guilty to a set of new charges related to the 2010 murder of his friend.
A revised plea deal was negotiated that would result in a 47 years-to-life term for first-degree murder and three counts of mayhem.
Wyatt, 29, a former mixed martial arts fighter, fatally beat Taylor Powell, 21, of Crescent City, on March 21, 2010, in a gruesome attack that involved mutilation.
Wyatt pleaded guilty Sept. 6 to a first-degree murder charge and an added enhancement of personal use of a firearm that would have given him a prearranged 50 years-to-life term.
Wyatt took the plea deal because it preserved the possibility of someday being released on parole and to spare his family from testifying at a trial.
The firearm charge was used as a vehicle to allow a 50-year term; it's a 25 years-to-life term that would have been served consecutive to the murder charge. No firearm was actually used in the murder.
"Research over the weekend convinced me that there was a distinct possibility the plea might not hold up several years down the line in the appellate court," said District Attorney Jon Alexander.
The prosecution and defense agreed to a revised plead deal of first-degree murder and three counts of mayhem related to Wyatt removing organs from Powell's body with a pair of shears.
Alexander did more revising of the plea deal to include a penal code that would allow Wyatt to be held to seven years on each of the mayhem counts rather then a life sentence, which is what is normally applied.
"Obviously, we discussed that with Taylor's mother and she was amenable to it," said Alexander. "And I'm glad we were able to craft something I'm totally confident would stand up on an appeal."
Wyatt is scheduled to be sentenced today.
Reach Anthony Skeens at firstname.lastname@example.org .