Guilty plea from Avondale man in death of girlfriend's young daughter

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PHOENIX (AP) - An Avondale man has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the 2008 killing of his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter.

Alvaro Holguin-Duarte was charged with murder and two counts of child abuse in the death of Alisandra Romero. The child abuse charges were dropped as part of Wednesday's plea deal, which removed the possibility of a death sentence for the 25-year-old.

Police said earlier that Holguin-Duarte was taking care of the child and his girlfriend's other children on Nov. 17, 2008, while she was at work. He told police he had slapped the girl after she soiled her pants but Alisandra's 11-year-old brother told officers that he saw Duarte stomp on the girl's chest.

Holguin-Duarte will be sentenced in March.

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