A North Ogden teenager scheduled to stand trial for the beating death of his 3 1/2-month-old daughter entered a no contest plea to the murder charge following negotiations with the state.
Robert B. Morgan, 18, entered his plea Monday to the original charge of 2nd degree murder before 2nd District Judge David Roth. A Feb. 6 sentencing date was set.Morgan could be sentenced to serve life in prison for the death of Ashlee B. Morgan, who died Oct. 10. But under the agreement, Deputy Weber County Attorney Bill Daines said that he would recommend that Morgan be sent to a maximum prison term of five years and that he be placed in the youthful offenders program.
In a previous court hearing, Daines said that the infant bled to death after her father punched her in the stomach, lacerating her liver. Testimony also disclosed that the 12-pound baby had a skull fracture, bruising on the cheeks and nose, and five healing broken ribs.
Defense Attorney John Caine said his client agreed to enter a no contest plea because the evidence was "overwhelming."
Prosecutors believe that Morgan stuck the baby before putting her down in her crib. Ashlee bled to death in her crib and when the defendant found her, he took the dead baby to Ashlee's mother's place of work and then on to the hospital.