A 16 year old kid faces 17 years in prison for strangling a 12 year old girl.
A teenager admitted Wednesday that he strangled a 12-year-old girl who disappeared last fall while out riding her bike, touching off a massive search that ended when her body was found in a recycling bin just blocks from her home.
Justin Robinson, 16, pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter in the death of Autumn Pasquale after agreeing earlier in the day to have his case moved to adult court.
Faulk said the boy asked the girl to come to his home to possibly trade bike parts, but he declined to discuss a motive for the killing.
The state was willing to accept a plea deal for charges less than murder because of the complicated circumstances, he said.
Because of the boy’s age at the time of the killing and his “diminished capacity,” it was not a sure thing that a judge would have agreed that the case should be tried in adult court, Faulk said.
While there was forensic evidence that places Autumn’s death in Robinson’s house, there was not clear evidence — other than the boy’s admission — that he was the one who choked the girl to death, the prosecutor said.
Under a plea agreement, Robinson faces a 17-year prison sentence with no chance of parole for more than 14 years when a judge metes out his punishment Sept. 12. Faulk said that if the case had remained in juvenile court, the maximum sentence would have been 20 years, but he would have had a chance of parole in less than seven years.