A Kansas City, Kansas, father has pleaded no contest in connection with the murder of his 3-year-old daughter in 2020, according to a report from Law & Crime.
What are the details?
Authorities say Howard Jansen III murdered 3-year-old Olivia Jansen and threw her body in the woods, later reporting her missing.
Prosecutors said that Jansen and his ex-girlfriend, Jacqulyn Kirkpatrick, severely abused the child in the months leading up to her death, including repeatedly bashing her head against the wall and locking her in an animal kennel. The two would also force the child to stand in a corner of the home for hours on end, refusing to allow her to sit down.
Prosecutors added that Jansen murdered the child and buried her in a shallow grave in a wooded area approximately nine blocks fro Jansen's home. The child's body was discovered to have "severe bruising" covering her face, arms, and legs, as well as a variety of lacerations on the back of her head, leading authorities to believe that she was beaten to death. An autopsy determined that the child was murdered, and the cause of death was a severe brain bleed.
Authorities arrested Jansen and Kirkpatrick the same evening that Olivia's body was discovered in the haphazard grave.
Kirkpatrick in November pleaded guilty to one count each of second-degree murder and abuse of a child under the age of 6 in connection with the child's death. A judge sentenced Kirkpatrick — who agreed to testify against Jansen — to at least 31 years in prison.
Jansen last week formally pleaded no contest to one count of second-degree murder and other charges related to the child's death. KSNT-TV reported that Jansen took a plea deal that required him to enter a no contest plea in addition to three counts of aggravated endangerment of a child, one count of abuse of a child, and one count of interference with law enforcement. Prosecutors in exchange agreed to reduce the first-degree murder charge that Jansen was facing.
The Daily Mail reported that Olivia's grandparents feared for the safety of their grandchild in the months leading up to her untimely death and reported several drug-related incidents to the local child welfare department, and KSNT reported that police records showed officers were sent to the Jansen home at least six times in 2020 before her death.
Jansen will be sentenced March 25.
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