MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A Marshall County man has pleaded guilty to a murder that happened nearly two years ago, according to online court documents.

45-year-old Joshua Ray Adkins entered his guilty plea to a lesser charge of manslaughter on Friday. He was initially charged with murder after he was arrested in 2020.

On August 5, 2020, the body of Sheri Adkins was found on Columbus City Road near Grant.

Investigators at the time said Joshua was the estranged husband of Sheri. Deputies with the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office carried out a search warrant at Joshua Adkins’ home in Huntsville, located off of Bob Wallace Drive.

Deputies arrested Adkins at his home eight days later without any incident. He was booked into the Marshall County Jail and placed on a $300,000 bond.

Adkins took a “best interest plea,” court records show. According to Alabama Law, the best interest plea means that “a defendant does not admit guilt to any offense, but agrees that a guilty plea is in his best interest under the circumstances.”

While Adkins is sentenced, the plea agreement means he doesn’t necessarily admit to the crime but admits that the prosecution could likely prove the charge against him. Basically, it’s a guilty plea entered without being able to or unwilling to admit guilt.

The charge, in court documents, is listed as “Manslaughter, heat of passion.”

Adkins was sentenced immediately following the plea to 28 years in prison, with a jail credit of 680 days served.