Man pleads guilty to murdering wife

May 1—A defendant who failed to show up in court during his first scheduled murder trial pleaded guilty to murder Monday as the rescheduled trial was about to begin.

Andreas Deone Shackleford, 47, pleaded guilty to the March 9, 2017, murder of his wife, Minnie Marie Shackleford, at their Decatur home. Pursuant to the plea agreement, Morgan County Circuit Judge Jennifer Howell sentenced him to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Howell said in the sentencing order that Andreas Shackleford, who had six prior felonies, is a habitual offender and that he could have been sentenced on the murder charge to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

According to police reports and court documents, Shackleford beat his 44-year-old wife on the head and strangled her. A family member found her unresponsive, lying on the bathroom floor of the couple's Northwest Decatur home, police said. Attempts to save her life by paramedics failed.

Shackleford was arrested on the murder charge and was released from jail after posting a $100,000 bond. His first trial was scheduled for February 2022, but he failed to return to court after a lunch break. His bond was forfeited and his probation revoked. He was arrested four days later after being located in a Birmingham hotel by the U.S. Marshals Service Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force. or 256-340-2435. Twitter @DD_Fleischauer.