- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 3, 2004

MIAMI (AP) — A teenager whose life sentence for murdering a 6-year-old playmate was thrown out will sign paperwork accepting a plea deal today, further clearing the way for his release from prison, his mother’s attorney said yesterday.

Lionel Tate spoke with his mother, Kathleen Grossett-Tate, in a conference call yesterday, said Henry Hunter, Mrs. Grossett-Tate’s attorney.

Mr. Hunter said Tate, who turns 17 this month, will sign papers agreeing to plead guilty to second-degree murder and will receive a sentence of three years in prison — most of which he has served already. He also will serve one year of house arrest and 10 years on probation.

The agreement would need to be ratified by a judge, a hearing Mr. Hunter said he hoped would take place within a week.

Tate’s attorney did not return calls seeking comment.

Tate was 12 when he punched, kicked and stomped to death 6-year-old Tiffany Eunick in what his attorneys initially said were imitations of pro wrestling programs he saw on TV.

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