Christian Caldwell, one of the four people charged in the 2009 murder of Conyers landscaper Timothy Clements, pleaded guilty Thursday to several charges, including malice murder, and promised to testify against the alleged mastermind Pablo Maldonado, who is currently on trial and facing the death penalty for Clements' murder.
Caldwell was brought from the Newton County Jail to take a plea during a morning recess. Both the jury and Maldonado were not in the courtroom at the time.
Caldwell pleaded guilty to malice murder, armed robbery, false imprisonment, concealing the death of another and forgery.
As the facts of the case were read, Christian Caldwell looked down at the floor, as did Tim Clements' widow. Caldwell's parents sat quietly in the back, his mother with her head down, occasionally dabbing her eyes with a tissue, his father periodically placing his hands over his face and shaking his head slowly.
Caldwell pleaded guilty in order to get a life sentence; however, that plea is contingent upon him testifying against Maldonado.
Caldwell could have potentially received life without parole plus life with 25 years on this case if found guilty on all charges.
Another co-defendant, Katria McClain, pleaded guilty in 2010 to the lesser charge of conspiracy to commit murder.
The maximum time she could serve for that charge is 10 years.