Johnny Ray Swack, who was charged with first degree murder after the 2011 shooting of his wife, Reinalda Ann England Swack, pled guilty to second degree murder on Thursday of last week.
Swack was able to bypass trial by jury in this plea deal, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison at 100 percent. He will receive credit for his two and a half years already served. Swack’s wife, age 36, was shot in the head on September 7, 2011. Swack was arrested soon after and no other suspects were seriously considered.
Swack, who spent some time in a mental hospital in 2012 after being deemed unfit to stand trial, was declared fit last year. His trial was scheduled to begin May 20, 2014. The plea deal made that trial unnecessary. Judge John Wootten, who presided over the hearing, said that Swack’s pleading to second degree murder gave him a better chance of avoiding conviction of the first degree murder charge that he faced, which would have carried much stiffer penalties.
Swack will serve his time in a state institution.