Convicted murderer sentenced to second life sentence - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Convicted murderer sentenced to second life sentence

(WMC-TV) - Convicted murderer Dale Mardis pled guilty in court Wednesday to killing a Baltimore doctor after confessing to the 1998 murder just last week.

Prosecutors said Mardis bludgeoned Dr. Henry Ackerman to death with a hammer and destroyed the body.  Mardis was sentenced to life in prison, ending the disturbing 13-year odyssey.

Mardis offered one-word answers to procedural questions as he pleaded guilty to the murder, a killing no one knew about until a week ago.

Mardis admitting it while pleading guilty in federal court to the 2001 murder of Code Enforcement officer Mickey Wright.

"The entire story from 1998 to 2011 is a very bizarre, epic and tragic story," said prosecutor Tom Henderson.

After a 10-minute hearing in state court, Judge James Lammey accepted Mardis' guilty plea and the agreed upon sentence: life in prison with the possibility of parole.

The sentence will run concurrent with a federal life sentence for the Wright murder.  Mardis will serve his time in a federal facility capable of caring for his many medical needs.

Mardis' defense attorney Howard Manis declined comment while awaiting an elevator after court Wednesday.  

Henderson said Mardis must pay for all of his crimes.

"I think it was extremely important to get this matter resolved not just for the sentence, but for the Ackerman family," said Henderson.  "They had a loved one disappear and never knew his fate.  Sometimes imagination is worse than the truth."

Henderson acknowledged that only Mardis knows exactly what happened to Ackerman.

Federal prison sentences are served at 100 percent.  Because of the Wright case, Mardis will not be paroled, despite today's state ruling.

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