Ohio man pleads guilty to killing 5-year-old niece

Matthew Pierson (Source: Highland County Jail)
Matthew Pierson (Source: Highland County Jail)

A 19-year-old southwest Ohio man accused of killing his 5-year-old niece has been sentenced to life in prison with a chance of parole under a plea deal.

Matthew Pierson pleaded guilty to aggravated murder in Highland County at a Monday hearing originally scheduled to consider whether his confession could be used in court.

Felony charges of evidence tampering and corpse abuse were dismissed under the agreement. His sentence allows for possible parole after 25 years.

The prosecutor says Pierson never indicated a clear motive for killing Jada Beth Williams last August in Jackson Township. Her body was found in a plastic container in a garage.

Pierson's attorneys tell the Times-Gazette of Hillsboro (http://bit.ly/16Kit5V ) that the case against Pierson was strong and the plea deal was in his best interest.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.