Emma Cole was 3 years old at the time of her passing. DOVER, Del. - A Delaware woman is facing decades in prison after pleading guilty to killing her 3-year-old daughter and dumping her burned remains on a softball field.Kristie Haas, 31, pleaded guilty Thursday to murder by abuse or neglect, abuse of a corpse, and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of 50 years in prison on the murder charge, suspended for non-custodial supervision after 30 years behind bars.
The murder charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. Prosecutors are recommending probation for the other counts and will drop several other felony and misdemeanor charges.Officials in Delaware announced an upgraded set of charges in the case of the remains of Emma Cole found in a Smyrna, Delaware field. "Yes, your honor," Haas repeatedly intoned softly as Superior Court Judge Noel Primos asked whether she understood the nature of the charges and the consequences of entering a guilty plea.At the request of attorneys, Primos, who is not bound by the sentencing recommendation, deferred sentencing until July 10, the date on which a trial for Haas was to begin.Prosecutor Kevin Smith said the delay will allow time for relatives of the victim, Emma Grace Cole, to make arrangements to travel from out of state to attend the sentencing.Attorneys, in the meantime, will prepare sentencing memoranda.
Smith said prosecutors are recommending a mental health evaluation of Haas. Defense attorney Patrick Collins told the judge that Haas is already being treated for bipolar disorder and depression."She is current on her medications," he said.RELATED COVERAGEThe defense and prosecution disagree on whether Haas should.