Breaking News
More () »

Lonnie Vann reaches plea agreement for murder, kidnapping charges

A former Campbell County middle school teacher charged in the death of a LaFollette mother pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder and other charges.

Lonnie Lee Vann, 45, pleaded guilty in a Campbell County courtroom to second-degree murder, kidnapping and tampering with evidence.

Related: Friends, family & neighbors remember Rhonda Daugherty

More: One year later, family still seeking answers in death of LaFollette mother

Vann was charged earlier this year with the murder and kidnapping of Rhonda Daugherty.

Daugherty was last seen Dec. 2, 2014.

A prosecuting attorney said Wednesday that Daugherty's body has not been recovered despite evidence Vann disposed of it in Norris Lake near Sugar Hollow Marina.

Rhonda Daugherty's husband, Charles Daugherty, gave an victim impact statement in court.

"This was beyond anything I could've imagined," Charles Daugherty said. "I now faced life without her."

Rhonda and Charles Daugherty had just celebrated their 30th anniversary when she disappeared. The couple also was eight days away from seeing their first grandchild's birth.

Rhonda Daugherty's mother, Nancy Kitts, also spoke in court on Wednesday.

"Adam (Rhonda's son) didn't get to have his mother at his wedding," Kitts said.

Just two weeks ago, the Daugherty family held a candlelight memorial at Coolidge Baptist Church to honor Rhonda's memory on the one year anniversary of her disappearance.