A homeless man whose June slaying of another transient sent three bystanders to jail until they could testify was sentenced today to more than six years in prison.

A homeless man whose June slaying of another transient sent three bystanders to jail until they could testify was sentenced today to more than six years in prison.

Brian Keith Garrett, 40, pleaded guilty in Jackson County Circuit Court to a charge of second-degree manslaughter for killing 42-year-old James William Revier on June 3. Garrett accepted a mandatory sentence of six years and three months rather than risk being convicted at trial of first-degree manslaughter, which carries a 10-year penalty, said Garrett's defense attorney Paul Beneke.

Garrett beat Revier for about 15 minutes inside another transient's tent pitched in a field between Interstate 5 and Bear Creek. Garrett also subjected Revier — heavily intoxicated at the time — to a chokehold for approximately two minutes, said David Hoppe, deputy district attorney for the county. Revier died of blunt trauma wounds and asphyxiation complicated by his blood's reduced clotting capacity because of alcohol consumption, Hoppe added.

Garrett's plea came a week after Carl and Lynn Bogenschneider were released from the Jackson County Jail, where they had been held as material witnesses in the case for 82 days. Hoppe moved to release the third witness, Timothy Hilbert Williams, following the hearing.

— Sarah Lemon