A woman who helped transport the remains of Tena Broadus after she was killed has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
Kari Michelle Parker, 36, of Gulfport, pleaded guilty Thursday in Harrison County Circuit Court, District Attorney Joel Smith said in a news release. Parker was one of five people indicted in the case.
Broadus was killed Sept. 18, 2015, and her skeletal remains were found in the Biloxi River on Oct. 7, 2015.
Broadus, 29, of Gulfport, allegedly was killed because Parker’s boyfriend, 30-year-old Joshua Peterman, thought she was going to snitch on him to police, according to court documents filed early in the investigation.
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In Parker’s guilty plea, she told the court that Peterman and Broadus had gotten into an argument and it became physical, Smith said. Parker testified Broadus was taken to a building behind Peterman’s home and was restrained while being assaulted by her co-defendants.
Parker said that once Broadus was dead, her body was placed in a box to take her to another location for disposal, according to Smith.
A co-defendant has testified Broadus was killed inside Peterman’s house. Early reports indicated she was cut by a knife or a machete.
Broadus’ body was burned after she was killed. Police have said divers found her remains in the Biloxi River.
Police Chief Leonard Papania identified Peterman as a suspect in the killing in a news conference Oct. 30, 2015. The arrests of the others followed.
Co-defendants have identified Peterman, 30, and Devon Gregory, 20, as the ones who killed Broadus. Their trial is pending.
Natasha Sellers, 43, of Ocean Springs, has pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact to murder.
Aaron Dale Bobinger, 23, of Gulfport, has pleaded guilty to the same charge as Sellers.
A grand jury had indicted Parker on a first-degree murder charge. The charge was downgraded to second-degree murder as part of her plea agreement. She will be sentenced at a later time.
Parker faces 20 to 40 years in prison at her sentencing. But first, she is expected to testify in the trial of Peterman and Gregory.
ADA Mitch Owen is prosecuting the case.