PERRY, Iowa -- A Perry man avoided a possible life sentence Friday in the abuse, starvation, and death of his adopted daughter.
Instead of the original charge of murder, Marc Ray entered a plea deal that includes the chance of parole.
First responder's found Sabrina Ray locked in her Perry home in 2017. Authorities say she was physically abused, starved and weighed 56 pounds at the time of her death. Shortly after, prosecutors charged her adoptive parents Marc and Misty Ray for murdering her. Both were put behind bars.
“She was just sitting on the shelf waiting for a proper burial,” said Dave Pillow, assistant chief at the Perry Fire Department.
There was no one to bury Sabrina, so the Perry Fire Department stepped in to help.
“Get her to her final resting place and get some closure on it because until that happens it’s just not going to happen," Pillow said.
In the latest step to get closure, Marc Ray admitted to playing a role in Sabrina's death.
“I failed to obtain necessary medical care to treat this physical disability. And my failure to obtain medical care caused Sabrina's death,” Marc Ray said.
Originally, Marc Ray was charged with murder, but he accepted a plea deal.
Ray pleaded guilty to one count of child endangerment causing death, and three counts of third-degree kidnapping. He will serve at least 35 years in prison.
No one from Sabrina Ray's biological family was available for comment, but the Perry Fire Department hopes justice will be served.
Marc Ray is scheduled to be sentenced January 11th. Misty Ray is scheduled to stand trial in February.
The plea agreement also stipulates that Marc Ray will not testify against his wife, Misty Ray, who is also charged with first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping. Both charges carry a mandatory life sentence.