GULFPORT, Miss. – A Mississippi man has pleaded guilty to capital murder in the 2014 death of a 5-year-old girl.
Local media report Alberto Garcia pleaded guilty Wednesday in Harrison County Circuit Court, ahead of a trial set next week. He had been jailed without bond after the death of Ja'Naya Thompson.
The plea means there will be no trial. Prosecutors say a sentencing hearing will determine whether Garcia is sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.
The child's body was found in an abandoned trailer in July 2014.
An investigator at Garcia's preliminary hearing said Thompson had been sexually assaulted. The investigator also said Garcia gave details that only the killer would know.
Garcia had implicated Julian Gray, a neighbor. A grand jury found insufficient evidence to indict Gray.