- Associated Press - Thursday, January 19, 2017

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) - A 30-year-old Grand Junction woman has pleaded guilty in the death of her 3-year-old niece.

Shanna Lorane Gossett pleaded guilty Thursday to a reduced charge of second-degree murder in the March death of Bethannie Johnson. Prosecutors agreed to dismiss three other charges, including second-degree kidnapping, but made no deal with regard to the length of Gossett’s prison sentence. State law calls for a sentence of 16 to 48 years.

An autopsy determined Bethannie died of multiple blunt-force injuries.

Gossett’s girlfriend, 32-year-old Rebekah Wallin, is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree kidnapping and false imprisonment. She is expected to enter a guilty plea on Jan. 26, at which point District Judge Brian Flynn will schedule a sentencing date for both women.

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