A Benton County man accused of killing his 4-year-old neighbor is pleading guilty.

36-year-old Ethan Mast of Lincoln entered the plea last week to second-degree murder and first-degree assault as part of a plea agreement, that according to court documents.

Mast is one of four people facing charges in the death of 4-year-old Jessica Mast of Cole Camp, who was found by police wrapped in a blanket in her bedroom in December 2020.

It was alleged that Ethan Mast, along with his girlfriend Kourtney Aumen, had beaten the child and submerged her into a frozen pond to “get a demon out of her.”

The duo was also accused of beating the 4-year-old’s parents, James and Mary Mast and her brother for the same reason.

Ethan Mast’s attorney indicated to the court that Ethan would testify against the three others at their trials, so prosecutors then downgraded his original charge of first-degree murder to second-degree murder, and according to the Benton County Enterprise, they plan on dropping the other felonies at sentencing.

It is possible that prosecutors will recommend a life sentence for Ethan Mast on the murder charge.

As of this morning, James and Mary Mast both have pleaded not guilty to their charges, are already out on $500,000 bonds and they both have preliminary hearings scheduled for July the 1st.

Kourtney Aumen’s case was moved to Webster County in January on a change of venue.

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