California teen, 17, admits to manslaughter in death of 11-year-old half brother last year

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RIVERSIDE, California — A teenager has admitted to voluntary manslaughter in the death of his 11-year-old half brother last year.

The 17-year-old made the admission Friday in juvenile court in Riverside County in the death of Terry Dewayne Smith Jr., whose disappearance in July 2013 set off a massive search before his remains were found days later behind his mother's house.

Judge Timothy Freer sentenced the teen to 12 years in juvenile detention, but under the law, he can only be held until age 23.

District attorney spokesman John Hall says the teen was originally charged with murder, but the case was downgraded in a deal with prosecutors.

No details were released at the hearing because the teen is a minor.

The Associated Press isn't naming the suspect because he's a juvenile.

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