Man who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting, murdering Navajo girl sentenced to life
A man who pleaded guilty to the murder and sexual assault of an 11-year-old girl on the largest American Indian reservation has been sentenced to life in prison.
Tom Begaye was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the May 2016 killing of Ashlynne Mike on the Navajo Nation.
The killing prompted calls to expand the Amber Alert system and the death penalty to U.S. tribal communities.
Authorities say Begaye lured Mike and her brother into his van before killing the girl and allowing the boy to escape. Ashlynne was reported missing, but an Amber Alert didn't go out until the next day.
Her body was later found in an area near the Arizona-New Mexico border.
Begaye pleaded guilty in August. Under the plea agreement, Begaye faced a mandatory life sentence without parole.