Father pleads guilty to fatally stabbing 6-year-old daughter

Seth Pickering (WLOS photo)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina man will end his life in prison after pleading guilty to fatally stabbing his 6-year-old daughter as national park rangers approached rather than give up custody of the girl.

Federal prosecutors said Seth Pickering pleaded guilty Friday to first-degree murder for killing his daughter in September 2016. Two park rangers said he stabbed Lila Pickering in the heart and lung as they walked toward him along the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is part of the National Park System.

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The 38-year-old from Leicester, North Carolina, took his daughter from the home of a custodial family, who had cared for the first-grader for a month after Lila was removed from her father's home. The girl's mother lived in Florida.

Pickering's plea agreement states that he will be sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

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