- Associated Press - Friday, March 6, 2015

ELKTON, Ky. (AP) - A western Kentucky man has pleaded guilty to murder in the beating death of his 9-year-old sister.

The Kentucky New Era (http://bit.ly/18WXOT2) reports 21-year-old Garrett Dye admitted on Wednesday in Todd Circuit Court to killing Amy Dye. In exchange, prosecutors are recommending that he serve 25 years in prison and give up his right to appeal the conviction.

Dye was scheduled to go on trial March 9 in the 2011 fatal beating of his sister, whose body was found near the farm where they lived.

Garrett Dye pleaded guilty in 2011 and was sentenced to 50 years in prison, but reserved his right to appeal his confession to police. The Kentucky Supreme Court overturned his conviction and sentence in 2013, ruling that his confession was coerced. Justices ordered a new trial in the case.

Todd Circuit Judge Tyler Gill said he would honor the terms of the plea agreement after questioning Dye repeatedly about his motive in killing his sister.

“I don’t know what you want me to say, sir,” Dye said as Gill kept asking for answers.

Garret Dye said “yes, sir” when asked whether he was honest when he said previously that he killed her because she wouldn’t stop talking.

He said “no, sir” when asked if he killed the girl out of anger.

Stephanie Ritchie, Dye’s attorney, said he pleaded guilty days before his trial was to begin because he didn’t want to put his family through the proceedings.

“Garrett has always acknowledged that he killed his sister,” Ritchie said. “… and I don’t think he knows why.”

The girl’s death drew the attention of state lawmakers after records released in the case showed that social workers either ignored or dismissed allegations of abuse and neglect against the child.

Prosecutor Gail Guiling said in court that “this is such a tragic situation and there were so many reasons that Amy did not have to lose her life at age 9 . There were interventions that could have been done before it ever reached this. Todd County has expressed its opinion that Amy Dye is Todd County’s child.”

Dye will have to serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

The judge said he “sees light in (Dye) and hopes someday he will understand what he did, change his life around and do something meaningful with it.”

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Information from: Kentucky New Era, http://www.kentuckynewera.com

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