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Man who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting, murdering Navajo girl sentenced to life

This photo provided by San Juan County, N.M. Detention Center shows Tom Begaye of Waterflow, N.M. Begaye was arrested in connection with 11-year-old Ashlynne Mike's disappearance and death. The FBI said Mike, was abducted after school on Monday, May 2, 2016 and her body was found the next day. (San Juan County, N.M. Detention Center via AP)

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.

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