A New Jersey man has admitted to stabbing and raping his 11-year-old downstairs neighbor who was reported missing hours before she was found dead behind their apartment building.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office announced in Tuesday’s statement that Andreas Erazo, 20, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and first-degree aggravated sexual assault in connection with the July 2017 death of Abbiegail “Abbie” Smith. Detectives found Smith’s body, wrapped in a blanket, on a rear roof; prosecutors said her body was bound with computer wire.
An autopsy confirmed the 11-year-old was sexually assaulted and fatally stabbed.
“You intentionally stabbed her in the neck knowing it would cause her death?,” defense attorney Michael Wicke asked Erazo in court.
“Yes,” he responded, according to the Asbury Park Press.
Erazo admitted to lying to police when claiming that he killed Smith after mistaking her for a home intruder. While he initially claimed he blacked out during the sexual assault, for the first time he confessed to violating the 11-year-old in his apartment, the news outlet reported.
The prosecutor’s office said they will seek a life sentence — 75 years. Erazo will be required to serve 85 percent of the sentence, amounting to 63 years, before he is eligible for parole. Following his release, he will be under supervision, including sex offender registration, for the rest of his life.
The prosecutor noted that the plea agreement was made following consultation with the slain girl’s family. Erazo accepted the deal days before a March 5 trial was scheduled to begin.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 31.
[Featured image: Abbiegail Smith/Keansburg Police Department; Andreas Erazo/Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office]