Suspect In Seminole County Murder Changes Plea To 'Guilty'

Friday, January 11th 2013, 7:28 pm
By: News 9

The family of a Seminole County murder victim reacted Friday to news that one of her alleged killers changed her plea to guilty.

Marilee Smotherman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and desecration of a corpse in the killing of Veronica Carlson. Carlson went missing in October 2011, her body was found in a rural part of Seminole County two weeks later.

Carlson's family found out the gruesome details of the murder during preliminary hearings in court where witness testimony was present to a judge.

A second suspect, Roger Brian Gober was also charged for Carlson's killing. He has pleaded not-guilty to firts-degree murder and desecration of a corpse.

11/03/11 Related Story: Charges Filed In The Murder Of A Seminole Woman 

After the murder, however, Gober told investigators the details of how Veronica Carlson died. He told police that he had picked Carlson up and drove her to a rural area where Smotherman, who was Gober's fiancé planned to jump Carlson. He said Smotherman pulled Carlson out of the vehicle, then stabbed her in the chest, side and back.

Gober also stated that he had dug a shallow holdeand put Carlson's body in it, then checked for a pulse and ultimately cut her throat. A witness testified in a preliminary hearing that she saw Veronica Carlson trying to crawl away from Smotherman.

According to the Seminole County District Attorney, Smotherman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and desecration of a corpse. Under the agreement she will serve 30 years for the murder concurrent with five years for the desecration charge.

Roger Brian Gober is due back in court in February.

10/25/11 Related Story: Body Found In Shallow Grave May Be Missing Seminole Woman