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Man Pleads Guilty In Girl's Malnutrition Death

Last updated on Tuesday, April 10, 2012

(MUNCIE) - A Muncie man whose daughter was sentenced to 50 years in prison for the malnutrition death of her 5-year-old stepdaughter has pleaded guilty to playing a role in the girl’s death.

Robert E. Lee, 45, pleaded guilty Monday to aiding, inducing or causing neglect of a dependent resulting in death.

Lauren McConniel died in March 2010 after weighing 28 pounds when she was hospitalized with lethal salt levels.

Lee said in court he had discussed with his stepdaughter, Brittany McConniel, the brutal punishments she later inflicted on her stepdaughter. He also acknowledged he never contacted authorities about the abuse or Lauren's deteriorating health.

Delaware Circuit Judge Thomas Cannon Jr. took under advisement a plea agreement, which places a 40-year cap on the prison term Lee could receive.

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