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Springfield Man Pleads Guilty in Arson

Posted: Apr 22, 2013 1:54 PM by Associated Press

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SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Springfield man pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for killing a woman and burning her body while he fished at Stockton Lake.

A source reported that Jay E. Rothe entered the plea Monday. As part of a plea deal, kidnapping and felonious restraint charges were dropped. His sentencing is set for July 12.

Rothe told police the February 2012 killing of 53-year-old Linda Riley was an accident.

Court records say Riley hit her head on her coffee table, knocking her unconscious, during a fight about other men.

Rothe then took Riley to his house, and got angry with her the next morning. He said after he "backhanded her," she hit her head while falling.

Rothe then took her body to the lake and burned it while fishing.

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