Plea deal creates witness in Mo. case

Sunday, April 5, 2009

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- A second defendant has pleaded guilty in the shooting death of a 22-year-old Columbia man last summer.

Michael Jaco, 18, of Columbia pleaded guilty Friday to first-degree robbery in the June 10 slaying of Nathaniel Bentley. Jaco had been scheduled to stand trial this week for second-degree murder.

Boone County prosecutors recommended Jaco be sentenced to 20 years in prison.

As part of the plea deal, Jaco agreed to testify in the trials of three co-defendants: 24-year-old Damon Williams, of Ashland; 18-year-old Denzell Smith of Columbia; and 26-year-old Malcolm Washington of Columbia.

A fourth defendant, Quillan Jacobs, 17, of Columbia pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery and has also entered into an agreement with prosecutors.

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