Tunell pleads guilty to attempted murder
A Moulton man pled guilty to attempted murder in Franklin County Circuit Court Friday.
Joshua Todd Tunell, of 242 Walker Road in Moulton, told Circuit Judge Terry Dempsey that he was guilty of attempting to murder Pauline White in November 2006.
Since Tunell pled guilty, District Attorney Joey Rushing dropped the three other felony charges pending against him, which were first-degree theft of property, first-degree burglary, and first-degree robbery.
Tunell pled guilty entering White home, and beating her almost to death.
White sustain multiple head traumas, and was taken to North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo, where she was hospitalized for about a month after her attack.
America Graham, White's sister, said White has not recovered from her injuries even though it's been almost two years since the attack.
"She is doing some better, but she has problems that will be with her the rest of her life," Graham said. "It was a very traumatic ordeal and it continues to be."
Graham said she and her family are pleased with the guilty plea and they want to see justice carried out.
Rushing said he agreed to drop the three other felony charges because attempted murder carried the most weight, and this way they can be sure time will be served for the crime committed against White.
"We believe Mr. Tunell intentionally tried to kill Ms. White," Rushing said. "He went above and beyond what was called for to simply steel her car."
Rushing said he will be asking for the maximum of life in prison at sentencing.
William Hovater, defense attorney, said Tunell took the offer because it was the best thing for him to do.
Sentencing will be scheduled at a later time, but Rushing feels it will be held quickly.
"Mr. Tunell has been in jail for almost two years, and the victim and her family want to get on with their lives," Rushing said. "I hope it will be held in the coming weeks."