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Accused child killer rejects plea deal

By By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The teen accused of murdering the two-year-old child he was babysitting has rejected a plea offer in Oneida County Court.

It wasn't much of an offer. The Oneida County District Attorney's Office offered Alec Champagne the maximum sentence in exchange for a guilty plea to the most severe charge of murder. If the D.A.'s office were to offer any less, the case would have automatically moved to family court--and a much less severe sentencing structure-- because Champagne is a minor.

Also today in court, Champagne's attorney asked the judge to review grand jury minutes from the case and decide whether a depraved indifference murder charge is appropriate.

"It's my position that there's not enough evidence to support the depraved indifference charge in the indictment; my position is this is not a depraved indifference murder," says attorney Les Lewis.

Prosecutors say Champagne sexually assaulted two-year-old Melissa Calhoun repeatedly while he babysat her in her Yorkville home June 18th. Investigators say he caused her to fall off her mother's bed, hitting her head on a nightstand, and that he used a refrigerator door to beat her.

There is no time frame for the judge to decide whether a murder charge against Champagne is appropriate, or if he should face a lesser charge in family court.

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