Bringing to end the case that started in June 2009 when 53-year-old Tim Clements was murdered, the remaining three charged in his death all took plea deals.
Clements, a popular landscaper, was beaten and dumped into Snapping Shoals Creek, his body found by two teens out fishing. The accused ringleader of the group, Pablo Fernando Maldonado, 25, was sentenced in early September to death, plus life, plus 25 years for his role in the murder.
The youngest in the group, Katria Luche McClain, 19, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of conspiracy to commit murder in 2010, but sentencing was delayed until she testified against Maldonado, her former boyfriend. Just 16 years old at the time of the killing, McClain was not there when the murder happened, but was present the night before when the group planned it, according to her testimony during the trial of Maldonado. Although the teenager was supposed to help out on the morning of Clements' murder, she didn't show up. She stayed in her bed despite several visits from the three others to her home, feigning sickness.
McClain was sentenced to 10 years of probation, four years of confinement and a $1,000 fine. She has already been in the Newton County Jail for three years, since her arrest in 2009.
Christian Perion Caldwell, 20, took a plea deal during Maldonado's trial and also testified against his former roommate, even going so far as to act out his role in the murder, saying he stood behind the front door while Maldonado lured Clements into the house, and striking him once in the head with a baseball bat.
He was brought before the judge during a recess in Maldonado's trial on Aug. 23 and pleaded guilty to malice murder, armed robbery, false imprisonment, concealing the death of another and forgery. Caldwell pleaded guilty in order to get a life sentence; however, that plea was contingent upon him testifying against Maldonado.
Caldwell received two life sentences with the possibility of parole for the charges of malice murder and armed robbery, 10 years confinement for false imprisonment and concealing the death of another and five years in prison to run concurrent for forgery.
The last of the four, Brittney Michelle Beasley, 21, was roughly five months pregnant with co-defendant Caldwell's child when she participated in the planning of Clements murder. She also testified in Maldonado's trial, recounting how it took her 30 to 40 trips from the front foyer area where Clements was struck to the sink to clean up all the blood, and that she was scared when she kept hearing Clements making sounds in the closet. She also told jurors during that trial that she had left the house with Clements still in the closet and went to McClain's where they ate Cheetos and cherries and watched a movie.
Beasley, like McClain, pleaded guilty to the lessor charge of conspiracy to commit murder, she was sentenced to 10 years confinement for that and for armed robbery, which will run concurrent; five years confinement for false imprisonment that will run consecutive to conspiracy to commit murder; 10 years probation for concealing the death of another, which will run consecutive to her confinement, and five years probation for forgery, which will run consecutive to concealing the death of another, plus $2,000 in fines.