MOULTRIE, Ga. — The defendant in a 2017 homicide pleaded guilty Wednesday in the midst of his murder trial.

Eleodora Perez Perez, who was 26 at the time of the slaying, pleaded guilty to malice murder and was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Richard Cowart to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Five lesser charges were dismissed.

Because Perez is not a United States citizen, he will almost certainly be deported, according to court documents. No order on that question was issued as of Wednesday afternoon.

Perez is accused of stabbing Miguel Alvarez Esquivel to death at Esquivel’s Tree Farm Road residence on Nov. 2, 2017. Allegations in the court documents said Perez believed Esquivel had been “involved in causing Perez to become infected with an unknown illness.”

Esquivel was legally blind and had other disabling conditions, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said at the time of the attack. Because he frequently had visitors who checked on him, the people at his residence initially did not have any suspicions.

Perez was indicted in March 2018. His trial began Monday with Assistant District Attorney April Hancock prosecuting and Guy Terry as defense attorney.

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