Sec­ond co-de­fen­dant in land­scaper murder trial pleads guilty

The Covington News - - The Second Front - AM­BER PITTMAN apittman@cov­

Chris­tian Cald­well, one of the four peo­ple charged in the 2009 murder of 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 the murder of Clements.

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 are read, Chris­tian Cald- well 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.

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