LAWTON, Okla. (AP) - An Army private accused of the starvation death of a 10-year-old boy at an Oklahoma Army base has pleaded guilty to a first-degree murder charge to avoid a possible death sentence.
The plea was entered Monday by 33-year-old Pvt. Connell C. Williams, who is on trial at the U.S. Courthouse in Lawton for first-degree murder. Federal prosecutors were seeking the death penalty.
Williams was indicted by a federal grand jury for the May 5, 2011, death of Marcus Holloway, the son of Williams' girlfriend, at Fort Sill in southwestern Oklahoma. He had pleaded not guilty.
A statement to Williams' 12-member jury by U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot says Williams' plea ends the trial. Friot says Williams' plea will result in a life prison sentence without the possibility of release.
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