MARYVILLE (WATE/AP) – A man charged with first-degree murder of an East Tennessee officer pleaded guilty and has been sentenced to life in prison without parole plus 56 years.
Brian K. Stalans was charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault and unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon.
Police Officer Kenneth Moats died after reporting to a domestic call on August 25. The Blount County Sheriff’s Office said they believe Stalans was setting up law enforcement for an ambush. Investigators found a letter in his house in which he blamed a family member and the Blount County Sheriff’s Office for his problems.
The officer’s family said during the hearing that their lives would never be the same.
During court, Moats’ mother said, ” Every fear I had…became an absolute nightmare I will never awaken from.”
Stalans said he couldn’t make things right, but the plea is an attempt to “make some sense out of what tragedy has happened.”
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