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Man sentenced to life in prison in murder, rape of 9-year-old

The Smithville, OH man accused of raping and killing 9-year-old Reann Murphy has plead guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

Jerrod Metzker, 25, originally plead not guilty but changed his plea and waived his right to a jury trial during a three-judge-panel hearing Wednesday. Metzker originally faced the death penalty if found guilty, but the plea deal removed the death penalty and certain charges. It was Reann's parent's who requested that the death penalty be taken off the table according to Prosecutor Dan Lutz.

In exchange, the rape and murder charges carried a mandatory life sentence and the kidnapping charge carried a 15-years to life. In the end, Metzker was sentenced to two life sentences without the possibility of parole. Reann's parent's were both attended the hearing along with members of Metzker's family.

Reann went missing in December while playing in the community area outside her home. She was found hours later in the garbage dumpster. Metzker had allegedly helped with the search for Reann and also called 911 to report her disapearance.

During his hearing on Wednesday, he didn't dispute charges against him. He reportedly nodded his head in agreement and said “I just want to tell the truth.”

Article originally published June 11, 2014 by Dawn Jones on

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