FORREST COUNTY (WDAM) - A Hattiesburg man pleaded guilty to the 2016 murder of his girlfriend in court Friday morning.
Joe Michael Shaw was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the second degree murder of Kelly Ladner.
Ladner was found unresponsive in the bathtub of the home she shared with Shaw on Myrtle Street in Hattiesburg on January 2, 2016.
According to the district attorney, Ladner's autopsy revealed that she died of blunt force trauma and asphyxiation.
The district attorney told Forrest County Circuit Judge Jon Mark Weathers an investigation by Hattiesburg Police revealed a neighbor heard an argument on January 1, 2016 from the home and heard a woman screaming.
Officials said the victim was made aware Shaw was at Nick's Ice House on Hardy Street with another female prior to the argument. The district attorney stated the Ladner had consumed alcohol that evening.
Shaw was sentenced to 30 years with 15 of those to serve.
Shaw and Ladner's family were seen sobbing in court during the sentencing hearing.