The man accused of killing a Carson City toddler pleaded guilty in court to murder charges Tuesday.
Eric Buhl, 26, of Carson City pleaded guilty to one count of first degree murder for the death of Coahuyana Hernandez in March. Buhl was Hernandez’s caretaker when she died March 17 after deputies responded to reports of an unresponsive infant who had fallen.
Judge James Wilson can impose one of three sentences: life in prison without the possibility of parole, life in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years or a definite term of 50 years in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years.
District Attorney Jason Woodbury said they won’t be pursuing the death penalty in this case due to a number of factors.
“Obviously, that’s an extremely difficult decision,” Woodbury said. “Certainly, Buhl’s act in this case was horrific, almost beyond imagination, but the law requires that his criminal conduct be weighed against mitigating factors, and we identified four of those.”
Woodbury said the factors include a lack of criminal violence, his age, he called for help immediately, and he provided a confession to law enforcement.
“He clearly needs a substantial penalty for his crime, and he will receive that,” Woodbury said. “But these circumstances convinced me to withdraw death as a possible sentence in this case.”
Buhl will be sentenced Jan. 17.