BECKLEY - A man pleaded guilty Friday to a murder in Mercer County last year.
Gerald Little, 61, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder at his plea and sentencing hearings in Raleigh County Circuit Court. Special Judge John Harko sentenced him to 35 years in prison.
Little confessed to murdering Jerry Buckner at his Highland Avenue home in Princeton last March. A change of venue motion was granted in December because of conflicts with the victim's family members.
Buckner's brother believes Little deserved a sentence to the fullest extent of the law. “I do feel that he has sowed a lot of bad seeds [and] hurt a lot of people - not only in our family but friends…and he needs to reap what he sowed.”
Two of Buckner's sisters addressed the courtroom on behalf of their late brother.
The medical examiner reported Buckner was stabbed 43 times, according to Prosecuting Attorney Kristen Keller. She explained why plea hearings can allow for the certainty of a conviction. “If it were my family member, knowing what I know about the legal system and the uncertainties of the legal system… I believe I would prefer the finality and the certainty [of a plea agreement].”
Little remains in Central Regional Jail.