Tiffany Moss made sure her own children were fed and clothed properly but isolated and starved her stepdaughter, Porter said.
The couple, who last year entered not guilty pleas, previously faced the death penalty. Because of Monday's guilty plea, Porter recommended a sentence of life without the possibility of parole for Eman Moss.
Investigators and prosecutors will debrief the father over next month and see whether he can provide critical testimony to help convict his wife, Porter said. The quality of that information could prompt a sentence of life with parole eligibility, Porter said.
“There are a lot of ‘I don’t knows,’ in his statement — he was working two jobs and he was gone much of the time,” Porter said. “He has agreed to testify, but I am not sure we can use him.”
Porter said he wants to know what happened to Emani, who weighed 32 pounds at the time of her death.
The guilty plea came 19 months after police discovered Emani's body stuffed in the trash can outside her Gwinnett apartment on Nov. 2, 2013. Police said she was starved to death, denied food since Oct. 24.
The case brought renewed scrutiny to Georgia’s child welfare system. The state fired two employees and punished four others, finding that employees and supervisors with the Division of Family and Children Services failed to assess the risks to the child or to properly review the family’s troubled history.