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Man pleads guilty to Temple murder

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Posted: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 12:00 pm

By Philip Jankowski

Killeen Daily Herald

BELTON - Anthony Wayne O'Neal, the suspect in a 2010 Central Texas crime spree that left one man dead and a woman sexually assaulted, pleaded guilty to murder Monday.

O'Neal, 41, pleaded guilty to a charge of murder in connection to the Aug. 22, 2010, shooting death of 24-year-old Paul Michael Caldera in Temple. He previously pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated sexual assault in McLennan County on Oct. 11.

Bell County prosecutor Paul McWilliams said O'Neal entered an open plea, allowing for a sentence of life in prison. The district attorney's office requested that O'Neal's sentence be stacked on top of the life sentence he received for the sexual assault charge.

He will be sentenced Dec. 13.

Both charges stemmed from a crime spree that began when O'Neal and Caldera got into an argument at Caldera's apartment in Temple. A witness inside the apartment told police she heard a fight and saw Caldera on top of O'Neal, who had a gun in his hand, an arrest affidavit states.

The woman fled from the apartment and heard a gunshot. When police arrived at the scene, Caldera was dead.

During an investigation, police discovered Caldera's gold Cadillac had been stolen.

It was later found at the scene of a sexual assault and burglary in Lorena. Reports show O'Neal broke into the home of a woman and three children, tied the woman up, raped her and stole her minivan.

It triggered a manhunt for O'Neal. Officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation located the stolen minivan in O'Neal's hometown of Rayne, La.

Authorities apprehended him several days later while he was walking down a street.

Contact Philip Jankowski at philipj@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7553. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.

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