Veteran pleads guilty to killing crying baby in NY

Jeffrey Sliker leaves court on Jan. 31, 2011
WWNY

WATERTOWN, N.Y. - An upstate New York soldier wounded during a tour in Afghanistan has admitted killing a 4-month-old girl he and his wife were trying to adopt.

Jeffrey Sliker pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder in the death of Laurne Clark, also known as Mollie Sliker.

The Fort Drum soldier admitted banging her head against a hard surface and throwing her forcefully into a crib twice last March at the couple's home in northern New York.

CBS affiliate WWNY in Watertown, N.Y. reported that Sliker said he "lost it" when the child wouldn't stop crying. He said he knew she was hurt, but did not do anything about it.

It is not clear if his wife was there during the murder, but police told CBS affiliate WWNY it was unlikely that she was going to face charges.

Sliker and his wife had been looking after the baby since birth under a court-approved adoption plan.

His brother told WWNY that Sliker was excited about the adoption."He loves kids and I don't see him ever trying to hurt someone, especially his own daughter," Jim Sliker had said before the confession.

"He might have had a nightmare and unfortunately he took it out - not that he took it out on her - it happened with her being there," Jim Sliker added.

The 23-year-old Rhode Island native joined the Army in 2008. He was awarded a Purple Heart for an unspecified injury in 2009.

Sliker could get 15 years to life in prison at his March 14 sentencing.