Bobbie Christine Bishop entered a guilty plea Thursday to a second-degree murder for the April 9, 2018, death of 6-year-old Justis Burland.
The 42-year-old Fergus Falls woman was facing six charges heading into a jury trial scheduled to begin Tuesday at the Otter Tail County Courthouse.
Bishop will be sentenced on March 20. She faces a maximum sentence of 40 years.
According to court records, an investigation began after Bishop brought an unresponsive Justis to Lake Region Hospital April 9. Medical staff told police investigators that it appeared he had been beaten extensively over a period of time.
Justis and his twin brother, Xavier, had been placed in Bishop’s care in August 2017 by their grandmother.
Bishop was living with her boyfriend, Walter Wynhoff, at a home on Friberg Avenue during the time the twins were in Bishop’s care. Bishop and Wynhoff were charged with counts of murder, manslaughter and malicious punishment on April 10.
Investigators found that Bishop would beat Justis with a belt and tape him to a wall in her efforts to enforce discipline.
Wynhoff was sentenced May 6, 2019, to a four-year prison term after pleading guilty to second-degree manslaughter in Burland’s death.
After the death of his brother, Xavier Burland was returned to Washington state.
Bishop underwent a number of competency evaluations in order to determine her fitness to stand trial.
Bishop is being held in the Otter Tail County Jail.