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Woman pleads guilty in Elk City beating death

Woman pleads guilty in Elk City beating death

By Associated Press. CREATED Jul 29, 2014

GRANGEVILLE, Idaho (AP) -- A north-central Idaho woman has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge for causing fatal injuries during an argument with a woman over cosmetics, a necklace and a compact disc.

The Lewiston Tribune reported 27-year-old Tara R. Mendenhall of Elk City pleaded guilty Monday to voluntary manslaughter for a Sept. 24 fight with 45-year-old Lora K. Vandenburg. Vandenburg died on Oct. 8 from bleeding in the brain.

Mendenhall was initially charged with second-degree murder. She testified that she and two others had stopped at a house in Elk City and when they returned to the car, Vandenberg was holding some of her belongings.

Mendenhall says she punched Vandenburg and pulled her out of the car, causing Vandenburg to fall to the ground.

District Judge Michael Griffin scheduled sentencing for Sept. 22.