Suspect in 2018 Kingsport bar shooting pleads guilty to second-degree murder

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KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – A man accused of fatally shooting a victim at a Kingsport bar in 2018 has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

According to the Sullivan County Circuit Court Clerks Office, William Raynard Newkirk Jr., of Bristol, Virginia, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge on July 7.

Newkirk was 16 at the time of the shooting and was originally charged with first-degree murder and aggravated assault in the death of Brett Rodgers at the Hog Wild Saloon.

Newkirk also pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder, reckless endangerment involving a deadly weapon, employment of a firearm with intent to go armed and possession of a firearm with intent to go armed.

The clerk’s office told News Channel 11 that Newkirk was sentenced to 19 years in prison.

He is scheduled to appear in court for a status hearing on December 16, 2021.

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