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Springfield man sentenced for beating death of girlfriend

March 4, 2022 GMT

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A Springfield man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after entering an Alford plea to voluntary manslaughter in the 2020 beating death of his girlfriend.

John Schuck, 57, entered the plea last week in the death of 54-year-old Tammy Colbert., the News-Leader reported. Prosecutors dropped a more serious charge of second-degree murder in exchange for Schuck’s plea to the lesser count.

An Alford plea is one in which the defendant does not admit guilt, but acknowledges prosecutors have enough evidence to get a conviction.

Police found Colbert’s body inside her home in March 2020. Investigators said she had significant trauma to her face and neck suggesting she had been beaten. When questioned by police, Schuck initially denied any involvement but later admitted to hitting Colbert several times in the face, breaking her nose.

Before his arrest in the killing, Schuck had a history of domestic violence involving Colbert. Police said officers had been called to their home at least eight times in the months before Colbert’s death.