|Ohio man pleads guilty to killing 5-year-old niece|
|Written by Associated Press|
|Tuesday, 02 July 2013 06:17|
HILLSBORO, Ohio (AP) — A 19-year-old southwest Ohio man accused of killing his 5-year-old niece pleaded guilty to aggravated murder Monday and was sentenced to life in prison with a chance of parole under a plea deal.
Matthew Pierson entered the plea in Highland County at a hearing originally scheduled to consider whether his confession could be used in court.
Felony charges of evidence tampering and corpse abuse were dismissed under the agreement. His sentence allows for possible parole after 25 years.
Jada Beth Williams suffered blunt trauma to the head, and her body was found last August in a plastic container in a garage at the Jackson Township home where she and Pierson and her grandmother had lived for a short time, authorities said. The grandmother reported finding the body a day after the slaying.
County Prosecutor Anneka Collins said Pierson confessed but never indicated a clear motive for the killing.
The Times-Gazette of Hillsboro reported that Pierson was asked in court if he had any comment before sentencing and gave a reply that added to the mystery: "Well, I didn't do this because I wanted to. I did it because he made me do it."
Pierson's attorneys said afterward that they weren't sure what he meant by that, the newspaper reported. They said the case against Pierson was strong and the plea deal was in his best interest.
Collins told the newspaper that the plea deal helped avert the uncertain outcome of a trial.
"People do sympathize with him," she said. "You never know for sure. This way we have a guaranteed outcome."
Information from: Times-Gazette, http://www.timesgazette.com
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.
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