Brandon Eugene "Big Baby" Russell pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree murder and was given a 20-year prison sentence.
It will be serviced consecutively to an eight-year aggravated robbery conviction. Russell was on probation on the robbery at the time of the murder in January 2011.
Charges of first-degree murder and especially aggravated robbery were dismissed.
Russell, 32, appeared before Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern.
A witness earlier told Chattanooga Police he saw Russell kill a woman at a 20th Street motel. Joseph Fields, said he saw "Big Baby" punch Meco Siler in the face, put her in a choke hold, then pull a knife and stab her in the neck.
Ms. Siler was found beaten and stabbed to death at the Country Hearth Suites after housekeeping found an unresponsive woman in Room 233. The 29-year-old victim was pronounced dead on the scene by Hamilton County EMS.
Police said when they arrived at the scene they found Ms. Siler lying face down on the carpeted floor. They said she had stab wounds.
Police said they were advised that around 8 a.m. two black males were seen leaving Ms. Siler's motel room. Police received a tip that someone named Joe had told someone else that he witnessed "Big Baby" carry out the murder. Police later found that "Joe" was Joseph Fields. Fields then gave officers a statement.
Fields said Russell initially told him he was going to rob Ms. Siler. He said Russell stole drugs from Ms. Siler and threw them out of the room. Fields said he retrieved them and took them to his room.
He said minutes later a frantic "Big Baby" came to his motel room, asked where the drugs were, and then fled. He said "Big Baby" left his keys and key chain behind, but not the key to his car.
Investigators showed Fields a photo of "Big Baby" and he identified him as Brandon Russell.
Ms. Siler's three children were at school at the time. She had lived at the extended-stay hotel for the past several months. Fields also lived there.