Man pleads guilty to 2017 murder of Menifee County toddler

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Posted at 10:57 AM, Jul 15, 2021

MENIFEE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — A man has pleaded guilty to the 2017 murder of his girlfriend's child.

On Thursday, Robert Collins pleaded guilty for his role in the death of Aria Blanton. He will be sentenced on Sept. 23 to life in prison with the chance for parole after 25 years.

Collins, along with his girlfriend Laura Blanton, were charged in her death. Initially, Blanton told authorities that she saw bruising after Collins had been taking care of her daughter. An autopsy showed the girl had suffered a lacerated spleen, fractured skull, and internal bleeding. Further investigation revealed that the girl had also suffered sexual trauma.

In 2018, Blanton pleaded guilty to two charges of complicity to criminal abuse first degree and one charge of murder. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison.