Step-Mother Changes Plea In Murder Of 4-Year-Old Girl

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An Athens County woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to murdering her 4-year-old step daughter.

Ashley Young, 26, of The Plains, withdrew her formerly entered not guilty by reason of insanity plea.

She instead pleaded guilty via alford to five felony charges including murder, aggravated murder, endangering children, tampering with evidence and attempted aggravated possession of drugs.

In an alford plea, the defendant does not admit the act, but admits that the state has sufficient evidence to convince a reasonable juror of their guilt. The court then finds the defendant guilty.

Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said that on May 23, 2011, Young purposefully caused the death of her step daughter by physically assaulting her.

Blackburn said that Young later attempted to conceal evidence of the crime and then tried to buy Percocet from a local drug dealer.