NC man sentenced to at least 18 years for murder of 7-week-old daughter

North Carolina news

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — An Onslow County man accused of murdering his infant daughter will be heading back to jail.

Zachary Littell entered an Alfred plea, pleading guilty on Tuesday to second-degree murder in the death of his 7-week-old daughter, Harper Littell. In January of 2018, she was found not breathing at their home in Jacksonville. She died two days later at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.

At the time of his arrest, Littell said the child fell from a portable baby bathtub. An autopsy showed the baby died from blunt force trauma to the head. District Attorney Ernie Lee said that the goal was always to seek justice.

Zachary Littell (Claire Curry, WNCT photo)

“It is a tragedy,” Lee said. “All we can do on our end is try to make sure that some sort of justice is done with a guilty plea such as this.”

Little will serve between 18-22.5 years in prison, Lee said.

Abigail Neiger-Bickham and her family requested the judge allow Littell counseling in prison. They also requested that Littell has no contact with Abigail, her son or her mother.

The plea hearing took place at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Onslow County Superior Court before Judge Charles Henry. Paul Castle represented the defendant and the State was represented by ADA Caroline Wahoff. She is the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Prosecutor for Onslow County District Attorney’s Office.

Lee says that after speaking with the family, he feels that they are satisfied with the guilty plea. 

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