Jimmy Joe Nelson has been charged with murder

A man from Cassville has pleaded guilty to his involvement in the 2011 death of his girlfriend.

Jimmy Joe Nelson, 40, was originally charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action for the August 2011 death of his girlfriend, 43 year-old Vicki Leigh Clark.  In a negotiated plea agreement, Nelson plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action today (06-24-13.).

Prosecutor Johnnie Cox says Nelson, who is clinically blind, slit the throat of his lover during a domestic disturbance and then called her employer to say she had committed suicide.

Barry County Prosecutor Johnnie Cox

According to the probable cause statement, Nelson called Clark's boss and told them Clark killed herself about 2 a.m. - Clark's boss then notified authorities when the woman did not show up for work 11:00 a.m.

Neighbors told investigators that the couple fought on a regular basis and Nelson would lock his girlfriend out of the apartment....sometimes when it was freezing outside.

Investigators say Clark had "defensive cut wounds" on her hands and arm and "two distinctive slice wounds to the neck."  A folding lock blade knife was found lying on Clark's neck when she was found by authorities.

Dr. Keith Norton, with Southwest Missouri Forensics, says Clark, who bled to death, had bruising on her face and skull from a beating prior to death.

"It was a fair result. It will mean that Mr. Nelson will be incarcerated for a lengthy time and off the streets of Cassville and Barry County.  A lot of factors went into the decision for the plea agreement, including the fact that he is legally blind."

Nelson was sentenced to 15 years for involuntary manslaughter and 3 years for armed criminal action.  Those sentences will be served concurrently (at the same time.)