***UPDATE 5:52 P.M.***Jon Shikles stood quietly in front of the judge Friday as he withdrew his not guilty plea and said he did kill Higgins. After he entered his guilty plea, he wanted to apologize to the victim’s family and turned around to do it. The family wasn’t there, but he apologized anyways and said he didn’t mean to kills Higgins on that April night.Jon Shikles exited the courthouse knowing he will only be a free man through the weekend. He has to report to the Moniteau County Jail on Monday before being sent to the Department of Corrections for the next 10 years.The Moniteau County prosecutor tells ABC 17 News he believes Shikles didn’t intend to kill Higgins. That’s why the charges were voluntary manslaughter instead of second degree murder.”Had a disagreement and wound up escalating to a fist fight,” Moniteau County Prosecuting Attorney Shayne Healea explains. “Unfortunately Mr. Shikles made some bad decisions and instead of getting help for Mr. Higgins, he left him there.”According to court documents, the fight started at a bar not far from the alley where Higgins body was found. Shikles lawyer said her client wanted to take responsibility for the murder and decided to plea guilty. The prosecutor tells us, within the last week, they came to him and worked out a deal. But agreeing on 10 years took some time.”Where inside that range of punishment does the defendants conduct fit, where does it fit the needs of getting closure and justice for the family,” Healea says.The prosecutor tells us the victim’s family was alright with the amount of years Shikles got. He says they decided not to go to the sentencing because it would have been too much for them to handle.***ORIGINAL STORY***Jon Shikles was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Friday for beating another man to death in 2011.A construction worker found the body of Travis Higgins in an alley behind a vacant home in California, Mo., on April 7, 2011.Two days after the crime, Shikles was charged with second-degree murder. Investigators confirmed Shikles and Higgins knew each other. Friends of Shikles told ABC 17 News Higgins was considered a trouble-maker.On Friday, Shikles took a plea deal for voluntary manslaughter. His case was scheduled to go to trial on Monday.
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