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File | The Journal Gazette

Life sentence for Plumadore in Aliahna slaying

FORT WAYNE -- Michael Len Plumadore will spend the rest of his life in prison.

On Monday afternoon, Allen Superior Judge John Surbeck accepted Plumadore's guilty plea to charges of murder, abuse of a corpse, removing the body from a scene of a violent or suspicious death, and being a habitual offender.

In May, Plumadore, 39, admitted to killing 9-year-old Aliahna Lemmon, for whom he was babysitting, and dismembering the body. In exchange for his guilty plea, Allen County Prosecutor Karen Richards did not seek the death penalty against Plumadore and asked for a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The sentencing brings to an end a grisly case which drew national attention to Fort Wayne around the holidays as emergency crews searched for Aliahna, whose mother reported her missing on Dec. 23.

While Aliahna's mother recovered from the flu, she left Aliahna and her sisters in the care of Plumadore, a trusted family friend and neighbor who lived in the same mobile home park off North Clinton.

Aliahna's mother told police she last saw her daughter Dec. 20. Plumadore said he saw her last the morning of Dec. 23. Police, firefighters and others searched for days, and Dec. 26, Plumadore admitted he killed her Dec. 22.

He said he bashed her repeatedly in the head with a brick while she stood on the stoop outside his mobile home, according to court records.

Police found the little girl's dismembered body in trash bags, discarded in a trash bin at a nearby business, while her head, hands and feet were found in the freezer inside Plumadore's mobile home.

For more on this story, see Tuesday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or return to