Man pleads guilty to tampering charge in Smith County murder case

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SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) –

A man who was arrested in connection with a Smith County murder case has been sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Stanton Lane Pearce, 54, of Tyler, entered a guilty plea Friday to two charges of tampering/fabricating physical evidence. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison on one charge and 10 years in prison on the other. Those sentences will run concurrently.

When Pearce was waiting to be taken back to the jail from the courtroom, he mouthed the words “I’m sorry.”

Pearce was arrested in September 2016, along with two others, after the body of 62-year-old Luis Martinez was discovered in a Smith County cemetery. Martinez had previously been reported as missing.

Pearce led Smith County authorities on a pursuit before eventually surrendering to them on a county road east of Tyler.

Two others are charged in the case – Rebecca Bond, 38, who was indicted for murder and Laurie Perry, of Chandler, who is charged with tampering/fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair a human corpse.

Stanton Pearce enters plea of guilty to tampering with evidence (a vehicle).

Sentence: 10 years. (About to read next charge) @KLTV7pic.twitter.com/FGN5m0WASQ

— Cody Lillich (@CodyLillich) February 24, 2017

In 114th Dist Court for plea/sentencing for Stanton Pearce, arrested last year in connection to a 2016 death @KLTV7pic.twitter.com/wuV0lz8P6P

— Cody Lillich (@CodyLillich) February 24, 2017

RELATED:

+RAW: Officials release dashcam video from Smith County murder suspect’s arrest

+Arrest warrant reveals details about murder of man found in Smith Co. cemetery

+Smith Co. Sheriff releases dash cam video of pursuits with murder suspect

+Woman, 2 others indicted in murder of Smith County man

+Smith Co. deputies arrest murder suspect

+DPS helicopter assisting Smith County in search for third murder suspect

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