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Teen pleads guilty to 1st-degree murder in death of girl, 11, on Manitoba First Nation

Teen pleads guilty to 1st-degree murder in death of girl, 11, on Manitoba First Nation
From CBC - December 7, 2017

A Manitoba teen has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the 2015 killing of 11-year-old Teresa Robinson.

The girl's remains were discovered May 11, 2015, six days after she was last seen leaving a children's birthday party on the Garden Hill First Nation, a fly-in community about 500 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.

Initially, investigators believed Teresa was killed by a wild animal but later determined it was a homicide. The upper half of Robinson's body was missing, having been eaten by animals,and her skull was found 30 feet from her remains, court heard.

An autopsy revealed she had been sexually assaulted. Killings committed during the course of a sexual assault are automatically assessed to be first-degree murder.

During what Crown attorney Chris Vanderhooft described as a "lengthy and protracted investigation," hundreds of local residents provided police with voluntary DNA samples to aid in the search for Robinson's killer.

"It was in the course of that sweep that RCMPtook a consent DNA sample from the accused," Vanderhooftsaid.

Police arrested the boy, who is now 17, in March 2016.

"He is prepared to admit [the murder]happened in the course of a sexual assault," his lawyer, Katherine Dowle, told court.

The accused will return to court for sentencing Feb. 5, at which time Crown and defence lawyers will jointly recommend he receive the maximum youth sentence of 10 years custody and community supervision.

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