LUBBOCK, Texas – On Thursday, Anna Smith, a woman connected to the 2018 murder of Richard Bradley Richards, accepted a plea deal for tampering with evidence. Her initial charge was for murder.

In the courtroom, the judge initially wondered if he should accept the plea deal, but after some thought, allowed the murder charge to be dismissed and accepted the plea deal for tampering with evidence.

Court records filed this month said the charge was a state jail felony, and Smith would receive 365 days in the Lubbock County Jail. However, since she has 1,229 days of jail credit, she will be released.

At the end of the hearing, the judge recommended Smith continue to take her medication.

Image of Kethan Lee Anderson from Lubbock Co. Detention Center

On March 2, Kethan Lee Anderson was sentenced to 50 years in prison for Richards’ murder. Anderson pleaded guilty in October 2021.

Sunshine Stanek, the Lubbock County Criminal District Attorney, said after Smith’s open plea, there was a lot of evidence of her involvement in the murder.

“After evaluating what happened during the open plea—both the facts and [Anderson’s] statements on the record—we decided to plea [Smith] to a state jail felony conspiracy to commit tampering,” Stanek said.

Jeff Nicholson, Smith’s defense attorney, said he did not believe she had an active role in the murder other than just watching.

“The crime she committed was not in November [2018]. The impending would have happened the day of and then the week or so after when she had some duty to report it,” Nicholson said.

Related links:

LPD: Two arrested for murder in connection to body discovered in Lubbock backyard

Warrant says murder victim exposed himself to woman before he was killed

CLARIFICATION: Court documents said the charge was a state jail felony, but the judge in court Thursday said he would treat it like a misdemeanor.