(WVUE) - Rendell Brown was just 16 years old when he robbed and killed Dominos Pizza delivery driver Chris Yeager.
A grand jury indicted Brown, along with his co-defendant Shane Hughes, on two counts of armed robbery and one count of second-degree murder, but on Tuesday Brown pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and two counts of armed robbery as part of a plea deal.
"He pleaded guilty to a manslaughter charge and the maximum time is 40 years, which he pled to, but it's running concurrently with other armed robberies and things he picked up subsequently picked up in jail," said FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti.
Police say back in 2014 Brown was wearing an ankle monitor when he and Hughes beat and carjacked a woman on Newcomb Boulevard. Police said 24 hours later, the juveniles robbed and shot Chris Yeager as he delivered a pizza in Mid-City. While Brown admitted guilt, Hughes has maintained his not guilty plea in the case.
"I would imagine part of his deal is that he testifies in this guy's trial. For that reason, I think the second guy's chances of winning is pretty slim, so if he gets a deal like his friend, I would suggest he take it," Raspanti said.
The victim's family and friends said Yeager was a wonderful person.
"He was just there trying to make a living and make ends meet. He was the happiest person. When I talked to the crew, they said he was always positive and always smiling," Glenn Meuller said.
Yeager's mother and father both gave emotional impact statements in court.
His father said, "We all lost a loving son, brother and friend who was loved by all."
Yeager's mother, Ann, told Brown, "I pray that he (God) will be merciful in the many years you spend behind bars. He will open your eyes to the truth of what you have done."
She went on to say, " Because of the choice you made, you not only destroyed my child's life, but you destroyed your own as well."
The judge offered Brown a chance to say something to Yeager's family in court, but he declined.
Hughes' trial is now set for April 17.