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The Latest: Dad of slain Navajo girl Welcomes guilty pleas

The Latest: Dad of slain Navajo girl Welcomes guilty pleas


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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on a guilty plea by a man charged in the killing of a Navajo girl (all times local):

4 p.m.

The father of an 11-year-old Navajo girl who was killed on the largest American Indian reservation says he is glad his daughter's killer pleaded guilty.

Gary Mike said Tuesday that he and the family of victim Ashlynne Mike always believed Tom Begaye was the man who took the life of the girl.

Begaye entered his guilty plea Tuesday at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as family members of Mike cried.

He pleaded guilty to charges of murder and sexual assault resulting in death.

Under the plea agreement, Begaye faces a mandatory sentence of life without parole.

Gary Mike says the family plans to speak about his daughter at a sentencing hearing that has not yet been scheduled.

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2:40 p.m.

A man charged with murder and other counts in the death of an 11-year-old girl in a remote part of the largest American Indian reservation has changed his plea to guilty in a case that prompted an effort to expand the Amber Alert system to tribal communities.

Defendant Tom Begaye entered his plea Tuesday at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque as family members of victim Ashlynne Mike cried.

Prosecutors say Begaye lured Mike into his van in May 2016 and sexually assaulted her. Mike was reported missing, but an Amber Alert didn't go out in the state until the next day.

The girl was later found dead near the Arizona-New Mexico border.

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3 a.m.

A man charged in the death of an 11-year-old girl in a remote part of the largest American Indian reservation is headed to federal court.

Tom Begaye is scheduled Tuesday to attend a change-of-plea hearing in federal court. But it is not known if his lawyers and federal prosecutors have struck a deal. Begaye previously pleaded not guilty to murder, sexual abuse and other charges.

Begaye is accused of luring Ashlynne Mike into his van in May 2016. Mike was reported missing, but an Amber Alert didn't go out until the next day.

She was later found in an area near the Arizona-New Mexico border.

Her death prompted federal legislation that would expand the Amber Alert system to tribal communities.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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