King pleads in 1998 murder

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By Robin Bass

A Mt. Eden woman facing murder for a 1998 incident involving her on-again, off-again boyfriend pleaded guilty to manslaughter last Thursday in Spencer County Circuit Court.

Susan Jean King, 48, told Circuit Judge Charles Hickman she wanted to enter the amended plea of second-degree manslaughter pursuant to North Carolina v. Alford – meaning King does not admit guilt, but she believes it is in her best interest to plead guilty due to the evidence against her.

“Your honor, I just want to get it over with,” said King, who has been lodged in Shelby County Jail since her arrest 17 months ago.

The prosecuting attorney has offered a 10-year sentence with no probation in exchange for King’s plea. For a second charge of tampering with physical evidence, King has been offered five years to run concurrently.

King was indicted by the grand jury April 2007 in the murder of Kyle “Deannie” Breeden. Police records indicate the incident occurred October 26, 1998 at King’s home located in the 2000 block of Van Buren Road.

Breeden’s body was discovered by a fisherman in the Kentucky River near the Owen-Henry county line 10 days later. He had suffered two shots to the head by a .22 caliber firearm and his legs were tied with a cord from an electric guitar amplifier. At the time of his death, Breeden was 40 years old.

Two months after King’s murder indictment, the grand jury charged her with tampering with evidence in June 2007. Police records indicate they found signs of gunshots, human blood and evidence of a crime scene clean up in King’s home.

Records from a search warrant filed by Kentucky State Police on June 16, 2006 stated that officers removed part of King’s kitchen floor containing two holes from .22 caliber bullets. A second warrant from July 2006, stated an acquaintance of the couple saw bloodstains and bullets holes in King’s kitchen floor about two days after Breeden’s body was found.

Judge Hickman told King that by entering a guilty plea that she waived all rights to entering a plea of not guilty in a higher court.

Attorney Mark Hardy, of Kentucky’s Department of Public Advocacy, said that his client had made an agreement with state’s prosecuting attorney to provide for a furlough. Hardy said that King’s house was damaged during the recent storm and needed repairs made before she was sentenced.

A $50,000 surety bond was posted on behalf of King by her father James G. Bennett. Conditions of the furlough include that King must reside with her father, have no contact with Breeden’s family and restricted travel to Shelbyville.

Sentencing date has been set for October 23 at 9 a.m.