According to court records, Jeffery Dewayne Kennedy, 55, of Amory pleaded guilty to the murder of William E. “Pops” Phillips of Amory, who was first reported missing June 8, 2011.

The guilty plea was filed Sept. 14 in Monroe County Circuit Court. Kennedy was sentenced to 20 years in Mississippi Department of Corrections custody for the offense, with 10 years of the sentence suspended and five years post-release supervision.

The sentence was reduced from first-degree murder to culpable negligence manslaughter. Court records indicated Kennedy killed Phillips sometime on or between June 4 and 7, 2011.

According to a Monroe County Sheriff’s Office press release from last April, Kennedy was indicted for first-degree murder in the cold case after the District Attorney’s office determined enough evidence was presented to take it to the grand jury.

At the time, Kennedy was incarcerated at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility serving time for a drug charge.

The MCSO, former MCSO investigator Rodney Starling, Amory Police Department and Mississippi Bureau of Investigation investigated the case, according to that press release.

According to the MDOC website, Kennedy is currently being housed at Chickasaw Regional Correctional Facility in Houston. The manslaughter sentence adds to his 10-year manufacturing methamphetamine sentence.

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