Already serving life, killer pleads guilty in 1976 slaying

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DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — The case of a 40-year-old Georgia slaying has come to an end with a guilty plea from a convicted cop killer and escape artist who's already serving life for kidnapping and armed robbery.

Fred Dalton Brooks, 67, pleaded guilty last week to voluntary manslaughter and armed robbery, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ( He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the 1976 death of James Earl Carter, a 39-year-old DeKalb County meat packing plant guard.

Brooks, currently imprisoned in Georgia, faces another life sentence in Mississippi for killing a state trooper. His guilty plea came as the result of a retrial in Carter's death.

The Georgia Supreme Court tossed an earlier murder conviction, saying the trial court erred by allowing the jury to hear about the trooper's 1983 slaying.

DeKalb prosecutors were going for another murder conviction when they agreed to the reduced plea.

Carter was found at the plant with his hands tied and seven bullet wounds in his back in March 1976. Authorities believe Brooks was one of two men who killed Carter while trying to steal money from vending machines at the plant.

Brooks confessed to the crime in 2012 in hopes that authorities would agree to move him from a maximum security unit in Jackson. Serving life for kidnapping and robbery, he'd been moved to the secure unit after an escape. He's escaped numerous times from jails across Georgia.

He later claimed he falsely confessed to Carter's killing.


Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

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