Tyler man pleads guilty in connection with father’s death

(Smith County Jail)
Updated: Oct. 23, 2018 at 7:34 AM CDT
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TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Originally charged with murder, a Tyler man has pleaded to a lesser charge in connection with his father’s death.

Randall Lamont Britton, 34, entered a plea of guilty to a charge of second-degree manslaughter in Judge Kerry Russell’s court on Monday. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Russell on Nov. 30.

According to the arrest affidavit obtained by KLTV in 2014, Britton was arrested in August after his adoptive father, RL Britton, 56, of Tyler, was found dead in his Smith County home.

According to a previous story, Randall Britton told investigators that he was a mental patient and was supposed to be on medication. Court records show Britton was found incompetent to stand trial in December of 2014 and then found competent in January of 2016. He underwent a psychiatric exam in March of 2018 and was again found competent.

Britton called 911 after finding his father’s body in his home. He said he had been home for about 30 minutes when a friend came over to purchase a computer monitor from him. He went to the laundry room to get the monitor and found RL Bratton’s body. Britton told his friend to leave and then called 911.

Deputies noted Britton was very sweaty and seemed to be nervous, but he told them he would cooperate in any way he needed to. Deputies also noted Britton had new scratches on his right hand and a small abrasion on his left hand, consistent to the injuries on the victim’s face. Britton told deputies he had punched a tree earlier that week, which caused the scratches.

Crime scene detectives found a drag mark and a blood trail from the living room area to the laundry room where R.L. was found in Britton’s home.

Detectives made contact with R.L.’s brother, Ivory Joe Williams, and sister, Tracey Shepheard-Harris. They both stated Britton had beaten up on R.L. on several different occasions, but R.L. did not report the incidents to police.

Detectives identified Britton as the suspect because he is the only person with access to the residence, his injuries were consistent with the injuries on R.L.’s face, and he has a history of violent tendencies toward R.L.

Previous story: Affidavit details initial investigation of adoptive father’s murder

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