Man accused of killing AU football player in 2014 pleads guilty - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

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Man accused of killing AU football player in 2014 pleads guilty

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Markale Hart signed court documents inside Judge Christopher Hughes courtroom in Lee County Friday. 

Hart pleaded guilty to manslaughter for his role in the death of Auburn football player Jakell Mitchell s death at Tiger Lodge Apartments in 2014.

The split sentence deal between Hart’s attorney Jerry Blevins and Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes came with giving Hart credit for the time he had already spent in jail and letting him go with probation.

“They made an offer Mr. Hart couldn’t refuse," said Hart's attorney, Blevins. “He was a little disappointed that he wasn’t cleared in the end, but pleased to be going home today.”

The Lee County DA says after speaking with Jakell Mitchell’s family, the family made it clear they didn’t want to sit through weeks of the trial again like they did in December.

“I’m not terribly excited about the plea offer, quite frankly I’m frustrated with it," Hughes said. "We weighed everything and made the plea offer accordingly.”

The December trial ended in a mistrial due to the jury not being able to come to a verdict following days of deliberations.

Hart is left with three years probation and a manslaughter conviction on his record.

"We expect when he gets out that he won't have any trouble with the law and it should never be an issue again," said Blevins.

Hart was also facing charges in Tallapoosa County of DUI, possession of a weapon, and receiving stolen property, but part of this plea deal also includes clearing him of those charges.

Hart is expected to walk out of jail within the next 24 hours.

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