JACKSBORO, TN. (WLAF)- A year-old homicide case has been resolved.

Billy Jay Randolph pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and assault Monday in criminal court. He will see a year of split confinement and six years probation following the plea.

Randolph had been charged in the 2020 death of Donnie Bryant.

Last November, Bryant’s body was found over an embankment on Cedar Creek Road. As Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Agents processed the scene, Randolph approached them, confessing to Bryant’s death.

The two men wound up in an altercation after Bryant made a series of threatening phone calls to Tabitha Russell, Randolph’s girlfriend, according to court records.

In those calls, Bryant allegedly called Russell names and demanded his “car and dope” from her. Not stopping there, he also said, “I will go to hell for killing you.”

He further said he was on his way to her home in the Cedar Creek area.

When TBI Agents investigated the events, they determined Bryant had placed at least one of those calls from a phone near Russell’s home.

Making good on his threats, Bryant showed up at Russell’s home where an altercation between the two men ensued leaving Bryant with stab wounds that came from Randolph, court records said.

Bryant fled the home down the driveway following the fight.

An autopsy revealed Bryant later succumbed to his injuries. A toxicology report showed he also had “high levels of methamphetamine in his system at the time of death,” court records said.

In presenting its case, the State of Tennessee noted that Bryant’s threats, showing up at Russell’s home and the drugs in his system were “adequate provocation” when Randolph stabbed him thus allowing for a voluntary manslaughter plea. Randolph had initially been indicted for second degree murder.

The facts of the case supported a voluntary manslaughter conviction and that would have likely been the outcome at trial, prosecutors noted. They also said Randolph was accepting responsibility for his actions. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 12/01/2021- 6AM)

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