Lucas Peterson pleads guilty in death of his daughter

Lucas Peterson

Lucas Peterson pleaded guilty in Seward County District Court Thursday to manslaughter in the death of his infant daughter.

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning says Peterson, 25, also pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful burial of human remains related to the death of his 11-month-old daughter Trista.

“Mr. Peterson has finally been brought to justice for killing little Trista,” said Bruning. “Now those who loved her can begin the healing process.”

In 2007, Lucas Peterson was charged with intentional child abuse that caused his daughter's death.  Peterson had led authorities to Trista's body after making a deal to not be charged with the crime.   However, last year, the Nebraska Supreme Court overruled on a ruling by a Seward County judge to throw out felony charges against Peterson.  This cleared the path for Seward County to charge Peterson again for the crime.

Sentencing is scheduled for February 28, 2011 in the District Court of Seward County.

Manslaughter is a Class III felony with a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and/or $25,000 fine. Unlawful burial of human remains is a Class IV felony and carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or $10,000 fine.


Assistant Attorneys General Doug Warner and James Smith handled the case in cooperation with Seward County Attorney Wendy Elston's Office.