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Husband pleads guilty in 2007 killing

A man who was the subject of a manhunt in 2007 because of allegations he killed his wife and later confronted his brother at a Richmond newspaper pleaded guilty Thursday to manslaughter charges.

John William Todd Jr. pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter for fatally shooting his wife, Charlene Lynn Todd, on March 8, 2007, at their 1813 Darien Drive home.

He accepted a plea deal for a 10-year sentence, with one condition: His attorneys will argue that John Todd was a victim of domestic violence. If a judge agrees, Todd could become eligible for parole after serving 20 percent of his sentence, two years.

Violent offenders normally must serve 85 percent of their sentence before a parole hearing.

One of Todd's attorneys, Jerry Wright, declined to elaborate on why Todd says the shooting was related to domestic violence.

Wright said he will file a motion outlining his arguments by Oct. 24.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Jason Moore declined to comment on why Todd was offered a plea deal, because the case is still pending.

The day of the shooting, Lexington police were called to the home about 12:45 p.m. for reports of a shooting. They roped off the street at Traveller Road, and a SWAT team entered the home later that afternoon to find Lynn Todd dead from gunshot wounds. Family members frantically called John Todd's cellphone trying to persuade him to turn himself in.

At 11 a.m., John Todd went to his brother's office at the Richmond Register.

John told his brother, Jim, that he was having marital problems and had shot his wife to death after a fight. John then pulled out a .38-caliber revolver and told Jim that he had come to kill him, the Register reported.

But John Todd changed his mind, and told Jim that he wanted him to tell John Todd's children that he had come there to kill Jim but didn't, according to the Register.

He later turned himself in at 10:40 p.m.