A D.C. man believed to have had sex with his teenage daughter shortly before he fatally stabbed her and stuffed her body in a trash can pleaded guilty to her murder Friday in D.C. Superior Court.
Rodney McIntyre, 45, will face between 37 to 40 years in prison for the November murder of 17-year-old Ebony Franklin, according to a plea agreement submitted Friday before Judge Lynn Leibovitz. McIntyre will not face any additional charges, including sexual assault or tampering with evidence, as part of the agreement, prosecutors said.
Ebony was found dead Nov. 29, three days after she was last seen alive and with her father, and DNA evidence indicated that McIntyre had sex with her within 72 hours of her death, charging documents state. She had been stabbed 15 times and placed in an alleyway trash receptacle in the 1000 block of Fairmont Street in Northwest — about a block from a boxing gym where McIntyre worked as a janitor.
Ebony, of Capitol Heights, had sought out her father after he was released from jail in 2008 and from May 2008 until her death, McIntyre engaged in sex with his daughter, prosecutors said.
Relatives who attended the courtroom hearing said they are still shocked by McIntyre´s actions. Her half-sister and McIntyre´s daughter, Rondneka Preston, said that since her father got out of jail in 2008, he had always treated Ebony as his favorite child, buying her presents and items anytime she asked.
"I'm just shocked," said Ms. Preston, 23. "I wouldn´t have thought he could do something like that."
On Nov. 26, the day Ebony went missing, her mother said she was supposed to meet with her father to get Christmas presents and then return home to finish her chores, according to court papers. Prosecutors said McIntyre used Ebony's cell phone to send texts to people indicating she had had run away and asking her stepfather if her mother was mad that she had not come home.
In the time between Ebony's death and McIntyre's arrest in May, he grew closer with his other daughters, including Ms. Preston, whom he stayed with until he was arrested, she said. He also spoke publicly to criticize police for harassing his family during their investigation of his daughter's murder.
"He played it real good," Ms. Preston said of his act during the investigation.
Even as McIntyre was arrested and confronted with the fact that his DNA was found on his daughter, he offered police no explanation.
"I don't know how I would explain it," he said, according to court records.
While a crowd of family members, including several of his daughters, looked on during his plea hearing, McIntyre, clothed in an orange jail jumpsuit, said little except to answer questions from the judge.
His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Oct. 27.
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