Eli Benjamin Horace Ray age 26 of Mountain View entered a negotiated plea of guilty for the 2022 murder of Kayla Shannon Nichelle Lee, age 29.

Ray was sentenced to more than 30 years for the first-degree murder count, Ray was also ordered to pay $790 in court costs.

Independence County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a Third Street residence in Cushman on Sept. 13, 2022, for a reported domestic disturbance.

A juvenile inside the home reported that a woman was severely injured after being physically attacked by her boyfriend, identified as Ray.

Ray then contacted 911 and stated to authorities he had killed Lee and would be waiting for police to arrive.

Ray was found in the front yard, lying on the ground with his hands behind his back.

Officers discovered blood was all over Ray’s hands and arms.

Officers detained Ray and placed him in a patrol vehicle.

The victim’s body was discovered in the living room with several puncture wounds and a knife on the floor.

Ray told investigators an argument occurred between himself and Lee in the living room. Ray said the argument continued until Ray stated to authorities, “I snapped, and killed her.”

The knife found near Lee’s body was consistent with the description of a pocket knife Ray told investigators he had in his pocket during the argument.