Terry Lee Ledbetter was charged Oct. 6, 2009, with first-degree murder in the death of 7-month-old Morgan Stout. Ledbetter was set for trial Tuesday on the first-degree murder charge.
According to a plea form filed in Garfield County District Court, Ledbetter entered an Alford plea to a reduced charge of manslaughter, which is punishable by four years to life in prison.
An Alford plea is a guilty plea, but the defendant does not admit any guilt, but admits the prosecution likely could prove the charge.
Associate District Judge Tom Newby accepted the plea Thursday and ordered a pre-sentencing investigation be conducted before sentencing April 25. There is no agreement with prosecutors, and Newby will sentence Ledbetter at the April hearing.
Stout was in Ledbetter’s care Sept. 29, 2009, when Ledbetter called 911, reporting the boy was unresponsive. The boy was treated at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center and later flown to Integris Baptist Hospital in Oklahoma City. The boy died at 5:13 p.m. Oct. 1, 2009.
According to the boy’s doctor at Integris, Stout suffered from massive brain swelling and retinal hemorrhages, and was a victim of shaken baby syndrome. An autopsy performed by Oklahoma City Medical Examiner’s Office found the preliminary ruling for the cause of Stout’s death was “non-accidental injury.”
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