Freehold, a week before his trial was to begin, Andreas Erazo
admitted to the murder and sexual assault of 11-year-old Abbiegail "Abbie" Smith.
Smith’s upstairs neighbor also agreed to plead guilty to murder in the first degree and sexual assault when they appeared before the Superior Court Judge David F. Bauman. Prosecutors will recommend a life sentence for murder and 50 years for aggravated sexual assault.
Smith admitted to fatally stabbing the 11 year old girl.
Erazo also conceded that his initial statement to police that he killed the victim after mistakenly believing she was an intruder in his apartment was false.
The defendant also admitted for the first time that he sexually assaulted Smith in his apartment. He previously told police that he had stabbed the girl, but when asked if had sexually assaulted her, he said he blacked out.
Erazo was stoic as he appeared in court in a yellow jumpsuit answering questions from Bauman and Wicke about the plea agreement.
Some of Smith's family members who attended the hearing choked back tears as Erazo admitted his actions on the day of the murder. Family members declined to speak to a reporter outside the courtroom.