Manning Pleads Guilty In Pink Hill Child's Death

A Lenoir County man, accused of killing and raping a 7-year-old girl two years ago will spend the rest of his life in prison.

John Manning pleaded guilty to first degree murder and first degree sexual offense with a minor in court this morning.

Manning was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murder of Chastity Sumner.

The body of Sumner was found in a ditch near her Pink Hill home in April 2007.

In court Manning's head hung low as the state read the factual basis of his plea. An assistant district attorney said Manning was the little girl's uncle.

Manning also pleaded guilty to four other counts of first degree sex offense with a minor. Authorities say a polygraph determined Manning had sex offenses with four other children as well.

He was sentenced to 96-118 years for the sex offense counts.

According to Sumner's family, Manning was staying at the home on a temporary basis while he got back on his feet. An autopsy showed the girl was smothered to death.

Prosecutors did not seek death penalty in return for the guilty plea.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 11, 2009 at 06:51 AM
    After reading my previous post over, I want to say to the family of Chasity that I didn't mean any disrespect to you in any way by saying that he should be executed and returned to the family for burial. I am sorry for wording that sentence completely wrong. I can not imagine what you, as a family, have been through. I don't know if this man was related by marriage or birth to the family of little Chasity and I should have thought about that before making such a harsh comment. Its just that life in prison seems too easy for him and he should not be allowed to use up valuable oxygen, food, water, or any other resource any longer. Again, I'm sorry for the disrespectful statement in my previous post.
  • by Kathy Location: Washington on Jun 11, 2009 at 06:16 AM
    Never fear, he will face a life of prison justice. To me, that's a better sentence than death.
  • by MANDY on Jun 11, 2009 at 06:03 AM
    This makes me soo mad. Why do people mess with babies. . . hell is going to be extra hot for people like this. I know we serve a loving and forgiving God but I just don't hardly believe that God will forgive him or anyone who makes little children suffer like this. This is why we as parents cahnot even allow our children out of our sight for even one second. Bless that poor little baby girl. . .
  • by betty Location: cortland on Jun 11, 2009 at 05:22 AM
    plain SCUM
  • by Barabara Location: Beulaville on Jun 11, 2009 at 04:53 AM
    It is dusgusting the way our system works. Why should he determine if it is life or prison or death? As if our economy isn't bad enough, we now have to feed and clothe this animal.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 11, 2009 at 03:37 AM
    Rather than spending a huge chunk of tax payers' money for the rest of this creep's life providing food, clothing, medical care, etc, a 25 cent bullet to the noggin' seems more appropriate and very well deserved. Not only did he rape a baby, he also smothered the life out of her. He plead guilty, he should die NOW and his body should be returned to his family so they can bury him. Tax payers shouldn't be responsible for a funeral either. I can't imagine how hard it would be to lose a child the way little Chasity's family lost her. My heart goes out to them.
  • by Donna Location: Snowhill on Jun 10, 2009 at 11:08 PM
    I hope that sick man will get what is coming to him. When he goes to prison I hope those men give him what he deserve. My heart goes out to that family. I was sexually when I was a teenager by a family member. He doesn't deserve to live he took a life then he needs to DIE!
  • by zoban1 Location: Ar on Jun 10, 2009 at 08:42 PM
    People like this get on my nerves! It's just sick and pitiful. Why, why do people feel the need to mess with the babies? Chris I hear you.
  • by Chris Location: Greenville on Jun 10, 2009 at 06:27 PM
    No the prison's are not closing, and even if some of them are closed they will be closing the work camp's and moving them into new facilities. He will not be out in a year or two, and I can fully understand why he got life in prison. While I think he should die for his crime's, that little girl has a family that would have been made to endure a lengthy criminal trial and subsequent appeal's that are automatic for death penalty case's. Now the family can finally close this chapter in their life and move on with remembering their little girl without wondering what the next day in court will bring. He will be well liked in prison if you get my drift! His time will come, and I have a feeling he will be someone's new friend where he is going..
  • by Anonymous Location: duplin on Jun 10, 2009 at 06:14 PM
    He has kids of his own I just hope he never messed on any of them for their sakes. But at least he can't hurt anyone else now.
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