A defendant charged in a 2016 Tecumseh homicide entered a no contest plea Friday and received a prison term with the Department of Corrections.

Joseph Wells III, 24, of Tecumseh, appeared in Pottawatomie County District Court Friday morning and entered the plea to an amended second-degree murder charge.

Wells was sentenced to serve 40 years with the Department of Corrections, with the first 25 years to be served in prison and the last 15 years suspended and out on probation, said Assistant District Attorney Greg Wilson.

Wells was originally charged in June 2016 with first-degree murder, deliberate intent, in the death of Randall Allen Warner. Court records show Warner died on or about June 15, 2016 at 700 N. 6th in Tecumseh in what was reported as a fight between neighbors.

Wells was accused of causing the death of Warner by striking him in the head, neck and torso with his hands, feet and a metal object, according to the court file.

As this case proceeded through district court, Wells changed his plea to guilty last year and then withdrew that plea. Most recently, he was scheduled for a jury trial to begin on Monday, Apri1 1, but he instead opted for the no contest plea in this case.

Friday, District Attorney Allan Grubb said, “We believe that justice was served today for the victim, the victim's family and the people of Pottawatomie County when the defendant was sentenced by District Judge John Canavan to 40 years for the brutal murder of Randall Warner.”

Wells is jailed in the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center and will remain there until his transfer to the Department of Corrections.