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Man who admitted to killing 11-month-old Mercedes Lain pleads guilty

KNOX, Ind. (WIBC) — The man who admitted to killing an 11-month-old girl this year in northern Indiana has accepted a plea agreement.

In a courtroom Monday, Justin Miller told a judge he was babysitting Mercedes Lain — his cousin’s daughter — in August. They were at his girlfriend’s apartment when he was high on marijuana and got into a fight with his girlfriend.

When Mercedes got upset, Miller said he backhanded the little girl, which caused her head to hit the wall. He then gave her a bottle to calm her down. Miller said he and his girlfriend got into another fight, Mercedes got upset again, and Miller smacked the girl a second time.

The next morning, Mercedes was dead.

Miller said he wrapped the girl’s body in a blanket, drove to a wooded area near the Starke-Marshall county line, and buried the girl’s body.

As part of the plea agreement, Miller would plead guilty to one count of murder. The judge hasn’t accepted the plea agreement yet. That decision will be made Jan. 18. If the judge does, Miller could still face 45-to-65 years in prison.