The 49-year-old Stafford resident entered an Alford plea on Wednesday, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch. In an Alford plea the defendant maintains their innocence but admits the prosecution could likely prove the charge.
Sullivan and William Joseph Hughes, 44, were both arrested in May 2013 in the homicide of Plaster, whose remains were found on the property of 881 Belle Plains Rd. in Stafford County following an extensive investigation by law enforcement. Both were charged with one count of first degree murder and one count of the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, Bill Kennedy, Stafford County Sheriff's Office spokesperson, said.
Sullivan's plea lessened the charge from first to second degree murder, court records show. In addition, the prosecution will not pursue the felony firearm charge. Sentencing is set for March 21.
Hughes pleaded not guilty in August, according to court records. His case is set for jury trial beginning Feb. 5, 2014.
Jason Plaster was a 31-year-old resident of Stafford County when he was reported missing by family members in July 2007.
"Despite an exhaustive effort by the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office in the ensuing years, Mr. Plaster was never located," Kennedy said. "The preliminary investigation indicates the victim died of gun shot wounds," he said.
Dennis Paul Benzie, owner of the 881 Belle Plains Rd. property, is awaiting trial on drug charges.
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