HEBER SPRINGS — A three-day murder trial ended with a life sentence imposed on an area man after the 2017 death of his wife.

Sentenced Oct. 9 was Terry Dale Marshall Jr., 34 at the time of sentencing, of Cleburne County with murder in the first degree. He was assigned a life sentence for the murder of his wife Brittany Marshall, 31.

The trial marked the end of an investigation after his Brittany Marshall’s body was found in the bed of a pickup truck Aug. 31, 2017 at a Batesville business. Online court records show Marshall had been charged with assault on a family member 10 days prior.

Cleburne County was represented in court by Prosecuting Attorney Eric Nance and Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Drew Smith.

Smith stated testimony from over 20 witnesses were heard during the three day trial, Oct. 7-9. Testimony included officers from Cleburne and Independence County Sheriff’s departments, as well at Batesville Police officers.

Brittany Marshall’s body was found in Independence County, requiring officers from that jurisdiction.

Testimony also included forensic experts and a doctor from Arkansas State Hospital.

According to the online court record, Terry Dale Marshall told police he had heard from aliens near the time of the murder. At least one witness was recorded being skeptical of that claim. Other witnesses said Marshall Jr. was “quick to anger” and had PTSD, according to online court records.

The affidavit for warrant shows an investigation conducted by Cleburne County Sheriff’s investigators after a call from Independence County Sheriff made after Brittany Marshall’s body was found. The tag on the pickup truck returned to Terry Marshall Jr. with a Cleburne County address.

Officers checked the home at the address where they found blood in a back bedroom. A search warrant was executed at the home and evidence was gathered, including a bullet casing. Independence County investigators found a gun matching the casing type while executing a search warrant on the truck.

Marshall Jr. later told investigators that he was “sorry for what he had done” and “it was an accident,” per the affidavit for warrant.

The affidavit included interviews with Marshall Jr’s 7 and 11 year old children, who were aware of the incident. Marshall Jr. was also charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Minor. That charges was not pursued when the life sentence was imposed.

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