WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — With a one-year memorial event for murder victim Zachary Wood Saturday, another defendant had decided to avoid a trial by accepting the D.A.’s plea offer.
William Andrew Bell signed the plea agreement for a 30-year prison sentence. He is scheduled to plead and be sentenced on May 26 in 30th District Court. Bell is the second of 4 defendants to agree to a plea deal.
In September, Ronnie Lang pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 50 years in prison. After that plea, the other defendants were offered plea deals. The other two, Ashley Esselborn and Payton Collier, remain jailed on bonds. Bell posted bond last October.
Esselborn’s second request to have her $100,000 bond reduced was denied today by 30th District Judge Jeff McKnight.
Police say interviews and investigation showed Wood was assaulted with a bat, hands and feet in a house on Brown Street on May 20 last year. Police described it as a massive blood-letting event. The assault was reportedly prompted over accusations Wood had stolen drugs.
Family and friends will gather tomorrow for a one-year anniversary memorial service for Zachary at 4:30 Saturday afternoon at the Lake Wichita Park pavilion.