Last of Five Defendants Sentenced for Joplin Murder - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

02/05/04 - Tyler

Last of Five Defendants Sentenced for Joplin Murder

An East Texas woman is given 35 years in prison for her part in the 2002 murder of a former boyfriend. 

Heather Mizer had faced capital murder charges, but pleaded guilty Thursday to aggravated robbery. Co-defendants Shawn Wilhelm and Justin Clapp have already been given life sentences for for the actual stabbing and strangling of Jeffery Joplin.

Joplin was killed in July of 2002 in his Smith County home. All suspects were arrested in Kentucky... including Joseph Walton and Brett Matthews who prosecutors say have been cooperative since their arrest. They were each given 25 year sentences -- plea bargains agreed to by the Joplin family.

"There's no sense in dragging this thing out and reliving it and reliving it and reliving it. It will hurt the rest of our family again and again and again.  I'll be going out to talk to Jeff and I think he'll say we got justice for him."

Through her attorney, Heather Mizer issued an apology to the Joplin family today, also saying she hopes young people will look at her situation and understand "how drugs can destroy lives."

Reported by Morgan Palmer

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