Cornett pleads guilty to second-degree murder

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A man accused of killing his infant step-son will spend the rest of his life behind bars for the crime.

KELOLAND’s Perry Groten was in the courtroom Friday morning when Keith Cornett entered his guilty plea. By pleading guilty to second-degree murder today, Cornett no longer faces the possibility of the death penalty in this case.

Prosecutors say Cornett had been drinking heavily when he was alone with the 18-month old boy at a home in Dell Rapids back in 2016. An autopsy found that the boy died from severe blows to his head and body.  

While he’s pleading guilty, Cornett is not admitting to the facts in the case because his attorney said Cornett doesn’t remember what happened that day. The guilty plea carries an automatic life prison sentence, although he’ll be officially sentenced later this month. 

We’ll hear from the Minnehaha County state’s attorney about why they agreed to the plea, Friday on KELOLAND News.

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