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Teen charged in death of pregnant mother pleads guilty

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Malik Merchant

MILWAUKEE — Malik Merchant, one of two teens charged in the death of a pregnant mother pleaded guilty to first-degree intentional homicide and armed robbery with use of force on Tuesday morning, May 1st. Two other charges against Merchant were dropped under the plea agreement.

15-year-old Merchant and another teen, Mical Thomas are accused of killing 34-year-old Sharon Staples during an attempted robbery back in August 2011.

Prosecutors say the two teens shot Staples when she refused to give up her purse. Staples was about 10 to 12 weeks pregnant at the time she died. Staples also had her 13-year-old son with her when she was shot.

Prosecutors say Merchant served as the lookout while Thomas tried to steal Staples’ purse, while her son ran to get help.

A third teen, Jimmy Scales, who served as the getaway driver struck a plea deal earlier this year.

Merchant faces up to 85 years in prison.

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