Both parents of Mercedes Lain expected to plead guilty
PLYMOUTH, Ind. (WNDU) - Child neglect cases against the parents of Mercedes Lain, an 11-month-year old who police found dead in a wooded area on the border Starke and Marshall Counties, are wrapping up.
Mercedes’ mother, Tiffany Coburn is expected to plead guilty. The father, Kenneth Lain plead guilty during his hearing on Thursday. All that’s left for the courts are sentencing hearings.
Lain and Coburn both face just one count of neglect of a dependent, a Level 6 felony that carries a maximum sentence of 2.5 years in prison.
During Lain’s hearing, he admitted to using drugs the day he left Mercedes in the care of a friend, Justin Miller, who is now serving a 65-year prison sentence for murdering the 11-month-old. Lain also admitted to having drugs and paraphernalia in his hotel room where Mercedes was often present.
He’ll have a new public defender at his Feb. 18th sentencing with his current one retiring. Lain says he doesn’t plan on having any witnesses testify during that hearing.
While Coburn’s case was scheduled as a status conference, the discussion mainly focused on her plans to plead guilty. Her attorney presented a signed plea agreement with similar terms to Lain’s deal.
Coburn will be back in court on Feb. 25th to not only enter a guilty plea but also for her sentencing hearing. That’s also when lawyers will interview witnesses and make arguments to be considered in the final ruling. Court proceedings for both hearings will start at 10 a.m. at the Marshall County Courthouse.
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