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Last updated on Monday, February 20, 2012
(LAFAYETTE)- A 20-year-old Indiana woman faces up to 45 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges she plotted with two other people to beat her boyfriend to death and hide his body in a shallow grave.
Carolann Clear pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit murder Friday in Tippecanoe County Superior Court, officials said. She could be sentenced to 25 to 45 years in prison under her plea agreement.
Prosecutors agreed to drop charges of murder and criminal confinement. Sentencing is set for May 17.
In court, Clear didn't explain why she and the two men who lived with her and boyfriend Jeremy Gibson in Gibson's Lafayette apartment decided to kill the 26-year-old man. She only said that events on July 6 quickly escalated from a fight to a murder plot against Gibson.
"In the car, you heard Antonio Williams tell the victim he was going to kill him?" Prosecutor Pat Harrington asked Clear. "And Jeremy Gibson begged for his life?"
"Yes," Clear quietly replied to each question.
Prosecutors say Clear along with Antonio O.J. Williams, 25, and Darren J. Englert, 20, forced Gibson from his apartment last July with a belt around his neck and drove around before stopping to get a pickax, a shovel and other items used to kill him on the side of a road.
Although Clear is not suspected of actually beating Gibson, she was initially accused of goading Williams and Englert - at one point, telling them they hit like girls as they attacked Gibson. A probable cause affidavit also stated that it was Clear's idea to bury Gibson's body, strip him naked and fold him in a fetal position because the grave Williams and Englert dug was too small.
"At any time did you protest, try to stop this?" Deputy Public Defender Mike Trueblood asked in court.
"No," Clear said.
Clear named both Williams and Englert in Gibson's beating. She said the three of them disposed of the gardening tools in the Wabash River and that she threw Gibson's shoes into a nearby trash bin.
Clear said they returned later and poured acid over Gibson's body.
She also pleaded guilty to fraud, admitting that she and Englert used Gibson's bank card to buy goods at a local Village Pantry hours after the killing.
WIlliams died last month from complications from a drug overdose. Englert still faces trial on charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, fraud and other felonies.
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