BELFAST, Maine (AP) — A Maine man has pleaded guilty to murder in the death of his 10-year-old stepdaughter in a case that spurred child welfare reform in the state.

The state plans to seek a life sentence against 52-year-old Julio Carrillo, who entered his plea Monday in Waldo County Superior Court.

He and the child's mother are accused of beating Marissa Kennedy for months before her death in February 2018 in Stockton Springs. They're also accused of trying to make it look like an accident.

Sharon Carrillo, who contends she was abused by her husband, pleaded not guilty to murder and plans to ask a judge to dismiss the charges against her.

The deaths of Sharon Carrillo's daughter and another girl, 4-year-old Kendall Chick, led to changes in Maine's child protective system.

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