Just moments before jury selection was scheduled to begin Monday morning, Wesley “Lex” Leverett entered a guilty plea to second-degree murder for the death of his friend, Barry Cole.
In entering his plea, Leverett agreed to serve 35 years at 100%, which is outside the normal sentencing range for second-degree murder, which normally carries a max of 25 years.
Leverett, 30, was facing a charge of first-degree murder, which could have potentially sent him to prison for life without parole.
“The Cole family finally received some justice in the courtroom today when Wesley Leverett admitted that he murdered Barry Cole and they saw him being immediately taken into custody,” said District Attorney General Lisa Zavogiannis. “This case has been delayed for four years due to defense motions and the effects of COVID. This plea ensures our community is safe, he can no longer hurt anyone else, and he is in prison where he belongs. It was a good day for the state of Tennessee and our community.”
Zavogiannis said her team was fully prepared for what was expected to be a week-long trial. Among their evidence, they had a confession from Leverett which was ruled to be admissible in court.