James Lee Troutman has pleaded guilty to the rape and murder of 9-year-old Skyler Kauffman, the Mercury reports, in exchange for escaping the death penalty.
Update, 1:30 p.m. Troutman will spend the rest of his life in prison, the Associated Press reports, and defense attorney Craig Penglase said he’s please Kauffman’s family won’t have to endure a trial.
Kauffman was killed last spring in Souderton, and Troutman, her neighbor, was charged soon after. Until now, defense attorneys have tried to have the charges dismissed and even won a request for an out-of-county jury. Troutman originally pleaded not guilty.