ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The man accused of killing four-year-old James Dunklee is expected to accept a plea deal Thursday. Zerrick Marquez is charged with intentional child abuse resulting in death for beating Dunklee to death in December 2019.

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Marquez was babysitting Dunklee and told police he tripped and fell knee-first on the boy. An autopsy found Dunklee had bruises all lover his body and a skull fracture, signs of previous abuse. There was a previous CYFD order prohibiting Marquez from watching the boy due to prior abuse allegations, but it still happened.

Dunklee’s mother was also arrested in the case, for allowing the abuse. She is set to go on trial in December. Under the plea agreement, Marquez would be agreeing to serve a life sentence for the crime. The hearing for Marquez is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Thursday.