A young man accused of killing a 4-year-old boy on a central Michigan Indian reservation and burning the body pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder.
The plea came less than a month before trial was scheduled in Bay City federal court. Anthony Bennett admitted killing his girlfriend's son, Carnel Chamberlain, in 2012 and burying the remains under a home where the three lived on the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Reservation near Mount Pleasant.
"Bennett acted with callous and wanton disregard for Carnel's life when he killed Carnel," according to a 10-page plea agreement signed by prosecutors, Bennett and his attorney.
Bennett, 21, is facing decades in federal prison, but he can withdraw the guilty plea and go to trial if his sentence exceeds 40 years.
Bennett lived with Carnel and the boy's mother, Jaimee Chamberlain. Carnel was last seen alive on June 21, 2012, before his mother went to work and left him with Bennett.
Police and volunteers searched for a week before the remains were found under Chamberlain's house. The body was so badly burned that it was difficult for authorities to confirm that it was human remains.
In a court filing in 2012, the FBI said Jaimee Chamberlain witnessed Bennett abuse her son in the weeks before his death.