The mother of Lionel Tate's victim said Friday she is not disappointed that he will likely get out of prison soon, but that the teenager needs to accept responsibility for murdering her 6-year-old daughter.
Deweese Eunick-Paul said Tate's supporters are "making light" of her daughter Tiffany Eunick's death when they say the 1999 slaying was an accident.
Autopsy reports showed the girl was beaten to death, suffering a lacerated liver and at least 35 other injuries.
Tate, who was 12 when he killed Tiffany, first said he accidentally killed her while imitating professional wrestlers' moves he had seen on television. He now says he jumped from a staircase and accidentally landed on her chest.
Tate's mother was babysitting the girl.
"The psychologist that testified on his behalf said it was a homicide," Eunick-Paul said in an appearance on NBC's Today show.
Tate, who will turn 17 on Jan. 30, is to appear in court Thursday to finalize an agreement he signed this month. Under it, he will plead guilty to second-degree murder and be sentenced to three years in prison _ most of which he has already served _ plus one year of house arrest and 10 years' probation. He could be released after a Monday bail hearing.
Tate was convicted of first-degree murder in 2001 and sentenced to life in prison without parole, but an appeals court overturned the conviction last month, saying he had not been properly evaluated as to his competency to stand trial.
Thai court okays return of Floridian accused of murder
BANGKOK, Thailand _ A Thai court on Friday cleared the way for extradition to the United States of a Palm Beach County millionaire wanted in the 1987 murder of his socialite wife.
James Vincent Sullivan, 62, is accused of paying another man $25,000 to kill Lita McClinton Sullivan to avoid losing property in a divorce. He denies it.
Lita Sullivan, 35, was shot in the head on Jan. 16, 1987, at her Atlanta home by someone posing as a flower delivery man. The hit man, Phillip Anthony Harwood, pleaded guilty last February to reduced charges in exchange for testimony against Sullivan. He is serving 20 years in prison.
Fulton County, Ga., District Attorney Paul Howard Jr. said Friday he will seek the death penalty against Sullivan.
Sullivan is believed to have left Florida for Costa Rica in 1997 and fled to Thailand after a 1998 indictment by a U.S. court.
_ Wire reports