A man charged with murder and other counts in the death of an 11-year-old girl in a remote part of the Navajo Nation has changed his plea to guilty in a case that prompted an effort to expand the Amber Alert system to tribal communities.
Defendant Tom Begaye entered his plea Tuesday at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque as family members of victim Ashlynne Mike cried.
Prosecutors say Begaye lured Mike into his van in May 2016 and sexually assaulted her. Mike was reported missing, but an Amber Alert didn't go out in the state until the next day.
The girl was later found dead near the Arizona-New Mexico border.