Prosecutors defend baby Elaina plea deals

"You may ask us why did we make a deal with the devil here today," Mrs. Bates said.

Lucas County Prosecuting Attorney Julia Bates was not sure her office could gain murder convictions against Steven King and Angela Steinfurth if the cases went to trial.

"You may ask us why did we make a deal with the devil here today," Mrs. Bates said.

Steven King pled guilty to several charges in connection with the June 2 murder of 18-month-old Elaina Steinfurth. Judge Ruth Ann Franks imposed a sentence of life in prison with parole eligiblity after 25 years.

Hours later in the courtroom of Judge Gary Cook ordered Angela Steinfurth to serve 18 years in the penitentiary before being eligible for parole. Steinfurth had entered an Alford Plea in which she maintained her innocence but conceded there was sufficient evidence pointing to her guilt.

Bates said that the decomposition of Elaina's body left many unanswered questions.

"Those doctors and experts would not tell us who did it and they could not tell us when it happened and what exactly did happen," Mrs. Bates said.

Though a forensic examination of Elaina Steinfurth's remains was unable to produce the cause of death, Steven King provided that information during his sentencing hearing.

"On the morning of June 2, I found Elaina in the bedroom where she was injured and having trouble breathing. I tried to perform CPR but blood started coming out of her mouth and nose and she was hardly breathing. I panicked and thought she was dying and I covered her mouth and nose with my hand until she stopped breathing," Mr. King said.

King also admitted to wrapping the dead child's body in a garbage bag and placing the corpse in his garage.

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