An Evansdale man has reached a plea agreement on the eve of his murder trial. Benjamin O’Donnell entered an “Alford plea” to second-degree murder in the death of Traci Carson of Evansdale nearly three years ago. The plea means he does not admit guilt, but concedes prosecutors have enough evidence to win the case. Under the agreement, O’Donnell will spend at least 42 years in prison, and waived all appeals and agreed to pay 150-thousand dollars to Carson’s estate. Authorities claim O’Donnell and another man met Carson after her 40th birthday party at a Waterloo bar in August of 2000. Police says they went to an Evansdale apartment where Carson and O’Donnell had an argument and then left together. Carson’s body was found six months later in northeast Black Hawk County. O’Donnell was charged with first-degree murder, and had faced life in prison. His trial had been scheduled to start Monday in Davenport.
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