ALAMOGORDO – One of two teenage girls accused of killing their foster mother in 2011 faces 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree felony murder.
Alexis Shields, 17, entered her plea Monday in state District Court under an agreement with prosecutors. She is expected to be sentenced next year after a pre-sentencing report is completed.
Shields was 15 when Evelyn Miranda, 53, was found dead at her San Patricio home on June 8, 2011.
The case against the other girl, who also was 15 when Miranda was killed, has been put on hold pending an evaluation of her competency to stand trial, the Alamogordo Daily News reported.
The girls were accused of stealing Miranda’s car, cellphone and computer. They were captured at a friend’s home in Carlsbad.
Deputy District Attorney John P. Suggs said Shields will be sentenced as an adult and could have faced up to 30 years in prison if convicted without a plea agreement. With Shields pleading guilty and taking responsibility, she is now looking at a maximum of 15 years in prison, Suggs said.
The plea agreement included dismissal of other charges, including conspiracy, robbery, kidnapping and tampering with evidence.
Shields will serve her sentence in a state Corrections Department facility, the prosecutor said.
According to 12th Judicial District Court records, Miranda died of asphyxiation.
Miranda took in troubled or challenged teens through Mesilla Valley Hospital’s Treatment Foster Care program.
She was a foster parent for both Linares and Shields in her San Patricio home.
Miranda has two grown children and operated a San Patricio business, Hair Styles by Evelyn.
On June 8, 2011, Miranda was found dead and the girls were missing from the home. The girls were found that night in Carlsbad and taken into custody by deputies from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office, with help from the U.S. Marshals Service.
In 2011, 12th Judicial District Attorney Diana Martwick said the girls were considered “persons of interest” almost immediately.
“They had not been in (Miranda’s) home long,” Lincoln County Undersheriff Robert Shepperd said at the time. “One had been there for two weeks. The other had been there for three days.”
The Alamogordo Daily News contributed to this report.