Man pleads guilty of death of Missouri man found in river

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) – A 32-year-old man has admitted to fatally shooting a southeast Missouri man whose body was found two years ago in a river.

The Southeast Missourian reports that Russell Mayberry, of Zalma, pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder in the death of 53-year-old Kenneth Willard, of Bismark.

As part of the plea, Mayberry’s sentence will be capped at 12 years. Also, other charges, including abandonment of a corpse and tampering with physical evidence, will be dismissed against Mayberry and his father. Unrelated drug charges against his wife also were dismissed.

Authorities found Willard’s body in January 2015 in the Black River in Wayne County. Court records say debit-card records show that Willard had been missing since October 2014. In admitting to the shooting, Mayberry didn’t say when it happened.