Arlington man pleads guilty in 2008 slaying of his wife

FORT WORTH -- A 33-year-old Arlington man pleaded guilty Monday to a murder charge in the fatal shooting of his wife in 2008 in the family's south Arlington home.

Ronald Lloyd Neal's trial in the death of Stovyne Neal was scheduled to begin this week before state District Judge Louis Sturns.

After Neal agreed to plead guilty, his attorney, Lisa Mullen, asked Sturns to assess Neal's punishment, which the judge will do after receiving a pre-sentencing report.

Neal remained in the Tarrant County Jail on Monday night.

Mullen declined to discuss the case late Monday afternoon, saying only that Neal pleaded guilty because "he took responsibility for his conduct."

Prosecutor Sean Colston also declined to comment.

According to news reports, Arlington police said Neal forced his way into his family's home about 7 a.m. June 5, 2008, and shot his wife of 16 months. Stovyne Neal's 7- and 10-year-old sons and their elderly grandfather were in the home at the time.

After about a three-hour standoff, tactical officers broke through the front door. Neal fired at least two shots at them, but police arrested him without shooting back, authorities said.

Stovyne Neal was taken by helicopter ambulance to a Fort Worth hospital, where she was pronounced dead about 10:30 a.m., according to the Tarrant County medical examiner's office.

At the time, Neal was serving a 90-day probationary sentence for assaulting his wife.

Stovyne Neal's petition for divorce had been filed the day of the shooting in Tarrant County court, according to court records.

The divorce petition stated that Ronald Neal is not the father of the children.

NATHANIEL JONES, 817-390-7742