woman makes plea deal after daughter found dead amid dirt | News from USA®


ALEXANDRIA, Louisiana (AP) – A 50-year-old Louisiana has accepted a 50-year sentence as part of a plea deal for the death of her disabled 25-year-old daughter, who died dehydrated and in the dirt.

Karen Johnson Harrison of the Plainview area pleaded guilty Monday to manslaughter and conspiracy to commit the second degree murder of Cyra Shantelle Marie Harrison, who suffered from cerebral palsy, The Town Talk reported.

The coroner’s report describes Cyra Harrison’s death as a homicide. She died of stunted growth and dehydration from cerebral palsy and neglect, according to the report, which estimated her weight at death at 65 to 70 pounds (29 to 32 kilograms).

Karen Harrison was to be tried this week on two counts of cruelty and one count of second degree murder, automatically carrying a life sentence.

“Karen Harrison will be over 100 years old at the end of this sentence,” said district attorney, Rapides deputy district attorney Brian Cespiva. “We did get a life sentence without the inherent risks of a trial.”

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Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a call about a natural death in 2018, but called detectives, who arrested Karen Harrison and a couple who shared the house days later.

The victim’s body was found on a mattress covered in rotten food, dog food and bodily fluids, and the mattress lay on the floor of a house littered with animal droppings and infested with cockroaches and flies , according to the report.

The other two suspects, Glen Elva Maricle and his wife, Marilyn Sue Maricle, are still awaiting trial.

All three were charged with second degree murder, conspiracy to commit second degree murder, cruelty to invalids and cruelty to a minor.

District Court Judge Chris Hazel sentenced Karen Harrison to a maximum sentence of 40 years for manslaughter and 10 years for conspiracy, to be executed consecutively. The time spent in prison before the trial will count towards the sentence.

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