GLENWOOD, Iowa – A Pacific Junction, Iowa, man has pleaded guilty in Mills County Court to second-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend's baby girl.
Colby Puckett, 23, was arrested Feb. 8, 2012, and initially charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment causing death, said Mills County Attorney Eric Hansen. Puckett will be sentenced on Jan. 13. Puckett was the boyfriend of Aliyanna Lenae May's mother.
On Feb. 1, 2012, he was babysitting the 13-month-old girl and two of her siblings, ages 3 and 2, while their mother was taking a college class.
According to court documents, Puckett told a Mills County deputy sheriff that he had placed Aliyanna on a bed and she fell off. She died the next day.
Doctors found extensive injuries to her eyes and brain, which they said was more consistent with “abuse head trauma and not a fall.”
The Iowa State Medical Examiner's Office performed an autopsy, which determined Aliyanna had died as a result of the head injuries. Her death was ruled a homicide.
Puckett faces 50 years in prison with a mandatory minimum of 35 years served before he is eligible for parole. He also must pay $150,000 in restitution.