Teen pleads guilty in death of 7-year-old

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A 16-year-old girl charged as an adult in the shooting death of a 7-year-old girl has pleaded guilty to second-degree felony manslaughter.

Mae Goodman Johnson entered the plea Thursday in 3rd District Court. She had been charged with first-degree felony murder in the July 6 death of Maria Menchaca.

According to charging documents, Johnson and two others -- Frank Puga Benavidez, who was 20, and Gabriel Alejandro Alvarez, then 16 -- drove in an SUV to Menchaca's home to confront Menchaca's 20-year-old cousin over a fight from earlier in the day.

Alvarez allegedly shot a gun, killing the girl. Benavidez and Alvarez are charged with aggravated murder.

Johnson will be sentenced on Jan. 16. Her attorney, Clayton Simms, says she pleaded guilty to take responsibility.


Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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