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Man pleads guilty in balcony death

FLORENCE (AP) — A Florence man scheduled to stand trial on murder charges next week has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of a man who fell from a 12th-floor balcony, where the two had been standing during a party.

Tracy Scott Lyndon, 37, was accused of causing the death of Bryan Christopher Tackett, 26, of Biloxi, Miss., who fell from the 12th floor at Courtview Towers in Florence on March 30, 2006. Thursday's plea agreement calls for Lyndon to receive a 10-year sentence, one year of which will be spent in prison.

He could also be required to pay a fine and restitution.

Defense attorney Billy Jackson said the best interest plea Lyndon made wasn't an admission of guilt.

"Scott didn't want to face the possibility of a conviction, and it was in his best interest to accept the plea agreement," Jackson said.

Lauderdale Circuit Court Judge Mike Jones said Lyndon will be sentenced May 10.

His murder trial was scheduled to begin March 15. Lauderdale District Attorney Chris Connolly told Jones he consulted Tackett's family to seek their approval before agreeing to accept Lyndon's guilty plea.

Connolly said it could have been difficult to obtain a murder conviction against Lyndon.

He said Tackett and Lyndon were partying with friends and had stepped on to the balcony moments before Tackett fell. Connolly said there were no witnesses to Tackett's fall from the balcony.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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