NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - A teen linked to the death of a 5-year-old girl was in Niagara County Court Friday for a plea deal.
Tyler Best pleaded guilty to both counts of tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution. Authorities say Best received a phone call from his friend John Freeman after Freeman had strangled Bella Tennant on August 26th of last year in Niagara Falls.
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The two carried her body to an alley between Third and Fourth Streets and put her in a garbage tote. Best led police to Bella's body the next day.
Niagara Falls Police Captain William Thompson said, "He was able to lead us to the location of the victim. She was in a trash can underneath some bags of trash in a garbage bag."
Best's uncle, Al Parker, said, "I was the one that, along with his mother, that brought him in that morning. We were the ones that notified the police that, in face, little Bella was gone. So it was pretty dramatic then, and it continues to be a dramatic, heart-rending event."
Best will be sentenced September 27. The teen has been in prison since he admitted helping move the little girl's body, so 11 months will count towards any sentence he receives.
Judge Matthew Murphy asked Best why he helped Freeman. Best respond that, considering the circumstances, he felt threatened by Freeman's presence. However, he admitted it was a bad decision.
Freeman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in July and is scheduled to receive a sentence of 20 years to life when he returns to court for sentencing in September.
Attorneys in the case are under a gag order and cannot comment outside of the courtroom.
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