Woman pleads guilty in beating death of 4-year-old Norfolk boy

Crime

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Catherine Seals, 35, pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to both charges she faced, felony homicide and felony child abuse with serious injury, in the death of Larkin Carr, 4, last November.

The plea agreement caps her potential sentence at 21 years, 6 months. Her sentencing is scheduled for January 31.

Court documents show the child’s body had anywhere from 60 to 90 bruises. The autopsy report listed blunt force trauma to the abdomen as Larkin’s cause of death.

Larkin’s father had moved in with Seals at her home on Sangamon Avenue. Prosecutors say she left her 14-year-old son Robert Hartshorn home alone to watch Larkin and his younger brother Tyler.

Police say Hartshorn told them he abused Larkin by punching him and hitting him with a chair. He is now 15, but has been charged with murder as an adult in Circuit Court. Judge Junius Fulton ordered sanity and competency evaluations for Hartshorn and will review them in January.

Previous coverage: Norfolk judge says “I may go vomit” upon review of 4-year-old’s death

Previous coverage: ‘Fatal blows’ to 4-year-old likely came minutes before his death, autopsy shows

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