ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A plea deal is in the works for the man accused of murdering 11-year-old Ashlynne Mike.

Tom Begaye allegedly kidnapped Mike and her brother as they were walking home from school in May of 2016, then sexually assaulted and killed her near the Shiprock monument. The boy was able to get away.

Begaye appeared in court Monday where his attorney’s advised the judge that they were willing to resolve this matter through a plea deal instead of trial. They pointed out that several matters would need to be dealt with before that, including a psychological evaluation.

Right now Begaye faces life in prison. The Navajo Nation has opted out of the death penalty