Teen changes plea in rape, murder of girl

COLUMBIA CITY — The teenager accused of killing a 14-year-old Whitley County girl in March of 2010 has pleaded guilty but mentally ill in Whitley County Circuit Court.Joshua M. Wright, 18, appeared in court Thursday to change his plea on four counts related to the rape and murder of Kaylin Doggendorf.If Whitley County Circuit Court Judge James Heuer accepts the change of plea, Wright could possibly receive a 100-year prison term.Sentencing is set for March 28 at 9 a.m. in Whitley County Circuit Court.“It’s not really what we thought was the best justice,” said Jason Doggendorf, father of the victim, “but it was the best guaranteed result.”Doggendorf said he and his wife Linbeth are relieved that the latest development will prevent the case from being drug out much longer.“This way we won’t have to keep being drug into court and don’t have to deal with the appeals process and a chance of something being overturned,” he said.“It was really starting to eat away at us, so we’re glad it’s closer to being over.”In the change of plea agreement entered into court, Wright, through his attorney Brad Voelz, pleaded guilty to murder, with an agreed sentence of 62 years; rape, a Class B felony with an agreed sentence of 18 years; burglary, a Class B felony with an agreed sentence of 18 years; and removal of a body, a Class D felony with an agreed sentence of two years.If Heuer agrees to the conditions and issues the agreed sentence, all four sentences will be issued as consecutive, bringing the total jail time to a century.In exchange for the change of plea, the prosecution agreed to drop the felony murder charge and to not seek a life sentence without parole.