A man accused of tying his child to a tree has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Edgecombe County.
The plea happened during a pre-trial hearing this morning. Brice McMillan entered the Alford plea in exchange for testimony in his wife's trial.
McMillan was arrested last year on charges that he and his wife, Sandra McMillan, killed his 13-year-old son. An autopsy showed Tyler McMillan died of dehydration and heat stroke.
The definition of Alford plea: "a pleading of guilty in a plea bargain in which the defendant maintains his or her innocence."
Sandra McMillan has been free on bond since March. Her trial is scheduled for next month and court officials say Brice McMillan won't be sentenced until after her trial.
The man lawmen say killed his son by tying him to a tree for being disobedient is due in court Monday.
42-year-old Brice McMillan is scheduled to appear in Edgecombe County Superior Court Monday morning. McMillan's son, Tyler, died at the age of 13 in June 2008. Lawmen say Tyler's stepmother, Sandra McMillan, found the teen unresponsive the afternoon after he was tied to the tree overnight.
Sandra McMillan was released on bond in March. She is also charged with murder and is due in court again July 6.
The autopsy report showed Tyler died of dehydration and heat stroke after being tied to the tree for 18 hours. His body temperature was 105.6 degrees when he was taken to the hospital. Tests showed a pattern of dehydration.
The autopsy also found Tyler had insect bites on his arms and legs, bruises on his buttocks and legs that may have been caused by a rod-like instrument and marks on his wrists and ankles consistent with plastic ties.