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Man Gets Life Sentence| in Text-Message Killing

(CN) - A Missouri man who beat a teenager to death in a fight over text messages will spend the rest of his life in prison. Jerry Lowell Broyles II, 27, will serve two life terms and two 30-year terms under a plea agreement. Two alleged associates face murder charges and a fourth hanged himself in his jail cell.

Broyles was one of four people charged in the beating death of Zachary Jones, 17, and an attack on Matthew Bankston in a Lebanon park in June 2007.

Police say Jones, Bankston and a third teen were in the park after a confrontation with Broyles over text messages sent to Broyles' girlfriend.

Three vehicles entered the park and one of them struck Jones. Police say Broyles and his brother, Terry Lynn Dunklin, then beat Jones and Bankston with baseball bats and a metal rod, while the third teen-ager ran for help.

Dunklin, who also was charged with murder, hanged himself in the Laclede County jail on Aug. 20, 2007.

Nathan Gibbs, 16, is charged with first-degree murder and three counts of felony armed criminal action. Kimberly Dunklin, 36, the widow of Terry Dunklin, is charged with first-degree murder and felony armed criminal action.

Lebanon is 165 miles southwest of St. Louis.

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