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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.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

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

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