BREAKING: Bird pleads guilty, receives two life sentences

A 19-year-old Summersville girl pled guilty today for her role in conspiring with her boyfriend to kill her parents.

Texas County Prosecutor Michael Anderson said Amelia Bird pled guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree assault at the Phelps County Courthouse. She received two life sentences – to be served consecutively – from Judge Colin Long.

Bird, who will be eligible for parole when she is 72, was to stand trial in February 2009. She was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree assault with a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Bird’s plea came less than a month after her counterpart, Chad R. Brantley, 21, pled guilty to four counts in the January 2006 slaying of Christina Bird and shooting of William “Buddy” Bird. As part of his plea, Brantley had agreed to testify against Amelia Bird.

Anderson has recommended four consecutive life sentences for Brantley, who pled guilty to first-degree assault, second-degree murder and two armed criminal action counts. He will be sentenced in January.

Amelia Bird, who was 16 at the time but later certified as an adult, was reportedly in her parent’s home the night of the shooting and made the 911 call for help. Authorities quickly discovered conflicting stories from Bird, who alleged that a man wearing a hooded coat and baseball cap shot her parents, and Brantley. They said the pair planned the shooting and that Brantley was standing at the sliding glass door of the home when Bird called 911. Both were arrested the following day.

Christina Bird died at the scene. Buddy Bird was taken to a Springfield hospital where he recovered.

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