Duane Wahl, Mulberry, pleaded guilty in District Court on Wednesday to the first-degree murder of his former roommate, Richard Davis, Mulberry. 

Duane Wahl, Mulberry, pleaded guilty in District Court on Wednesday to the first-degree murder of his former roommate, Richard Davis, Mulberry.


Wahl entered into a plea agreement with the prosecution, in this case Crawford County Attorney Michael Gayoso. Wahl pleaded guilty to pre-meditated murder, and the state is recommending the mandatory life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years, with no credit for good behavior for 25 years. Sentencing was set for Dec. 9 at 9 a.m.


"We feel that any time an individual pleads guilty to premeditated first-degree murder with not one witness taking the stand, it's a successful outcome for law enforcement, for our office and for the victim's family," Gayoso said.


Wahl admitted in court that on Oct. 30, 2009, he killed and later buried Davis in a shallow grave northwest of Mulberry. Davis' body was found on Jan. 17.


Further details emerged in court as Gayoso told Judge Donald Noland the evidence that backed up Wahl's guilty plea. That included blood in the trunk of Wahl's car and in Wahl's driveway that were later matched to Davis through DNA testing before Davis' body was found.


Also, Gayoso revealed that Wahl's brothers discovered Davis' body and alerted law enforcement after following a map given to Wahl's mother through a third party.


After Wahl pleaded guilty to the murder charge, the state moved to dismiss several other charges, in particular two misdemeanor theft cases and a felony burglary charge.