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Zion man’s sentencing deal gets kicked to Feb. 19

Larnell Mace

Larnell Mace

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Updated: March 13, 2013 6:10AM

Attorneys have come to a plea agreement in the case of the Zion man accused of punching his infant daughter to death.

However, the plea deal was stalled after Monday’s hearing because defendant Larnell Mace, 23, was unable to reach to his family to discuss the plea, defense attorney Jed Stone said.

Mace admitted to police that he punched his daughter Jasmine five to six times in the stomach that led to fatal internal injuries on April 16, 2008. His girlfriend of 18 months gave birth to their daughter when Mace was 19.

If convicted, he faces a sentencing range of 20 years to life.

“We are in agreement that this will be an Alford plea,” Stone said.

An Alford plea means that a defendant admits there is enough evidence that could lead to a conviction, but does not directly admit guilt for a crime.

Stone said Monday that Mace would receive a sentence of 22 1/2 years with the Alford plea. Attorneys agreed to set the plea over to Feb. 19.

Mace had been physically and sexually abused multiple times when he bounced among multiple foster homes growing up, Stone said.

Stone said his client grew up as a ward of the state and was still a ward in Cook County when his girlfriend gave birth to their daughter Dec. 19, 2007. Mace was not “equipped” to be left alone with a child, Stone said last Friday.

Mace remains in custody at Lake County Jail.

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