A woman who killed a 4-year-old relative in her care, stuffed him in a closet and lied about his whereabouts pleaded guilty today to second-degree unintentional murder.
Carla Poole offered no explanation for her behavior when she entered the plea before District Court Judge Margaret Daly. As part of the deal, she will be sentenced on July 18 to 40 years. With good behavior, the 37-year-old could be released in 27 years.
Her defense lawyer Rick Trachy said Poole didn't intend to kill Demond Reed, that her behavior was an "emotional response to a situation."
By entering a plea and avoiding a trial, she took responsibility in the most serious way possible, he said.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said the long sentence reflects the level of depravity of the crime.
"This is an appropriate length of sentence for just a horrific crime," he said.
The standard sentence for second-degree unintentional murder is a little more than 12 years.
Freeman noted only first-degree premeditated murderers go away for longer -- life without parole.
Poole had her own two young children hold down Demond as she fatally beat him and then left him without help in her home. The alleged trigger for the beating was that Demond had soiled his pants.
She told police a friend had taken the child and not returned him. His body was found double-bagged in a closet at Poole's house early on a Sunday in February. She was watching the boy while his father served a brief jail sentence.