Man Admits Killing Lansing Girl

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A Clinton County man has pleaded guilty to killing a 12-year-old Lansing girl.

Steven Gilbert, 37, admitted on Monday that he choked Samantha Detzler. He could get up to life in prison for second-degree murder when he is sentenced Sept. 13 in a Clinton County courtroom.

By pleading to second degree murder, Gilbert, from DeWitt Township, eliminates the risk of a mandatory life sentence. But he could still get a life sentence for the crime.

The five-day search for Samantha in February captured the Lansing area's attention. After her body was found, residents raised about $9,000 to help pay for the funeral.

Samantha disappeared from her grandmother's Lansing home Feb. 19. Her body was found along a rural DeWitt Township road Feb. 24.