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Plea deal reached in death of 5-year-old Eyota boy

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Eyota

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- A plea deal has been reached in the death of a 5-year-old Eyota boy at the hands of his older brother.

Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem told KTTC that 18-year-old Kaleb Smith will plead guilty to first-degree manslaughter for killing his younger brother, Alex, last June.

According to a criminal complaint, Kaleb said their mother was away at the time, and he was responsible for taking care of Alex. Alex was screaming in his bedroom, and Kaleb put a blanket over his body to try to get him to stop.

The boy kept shouting, and according to the complaint, Kaleb admitted to returning to the bedroom and covering his brother's mouth and nose for "one to two minutes." The boy was pronounced dead at Mayo Clinic Saint Marys hospital that evening.

An autopsy found brain swelling, which indicates hypoxia by smothering. Hypoxia is when the body does not get enough oxygen.

As part of the plea deal, second-degree murder and domestic assault by strangulation charges are being dropped.

Smith faces up to 15 years in prison for first-degree manslaughter.

He is set to be sentenced on May 27.

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Byron Tollefson

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