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posted: 9/5/2012 9:11 AM

Muncie woman pleads guilty in 5-year-old's death

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Associated Press

MUNCIE, Ind. -- A Muncie woman whose sister's 5-year-old stepdaughter died of malnutrition has pleaded guilty to not doing anything to stop the abuse.

Twenty-one-year-old Samra Lee on Tuesday became the fourth family member to plead guilty or be convicted of charges in connection with Lauren McConniel's 2010 death. Authorities say the girl weighed 28 pounds when she was hospitalized with lethal salt levels.

The Star Press reports Lee said in court that she saw Lauren being abused but never called child welfare officials or police. She pleaded guilty to a felony child neglect charge and will be sentenced later.

Brittany McConniel is serving a 50-year sentence for her stepdaughter's death. Ryan McConniel is awaiting sentencing on neglect charges in his daughter's death, while Samra Lee's father has also been sentenced.

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