On Thursday in Jasper County Circuit Court, Olson acknowledged what she did and pleaded guilty to second degree murder and felony child abuse. Judge David Mouton ordered a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for 1 p.m. Monday, November 6.
The guilty plea came as a result of a plea agreement. Court records indicate Olson will have to serve at least 15 years behind bars with no probation.
"I knowingly struck my daughter Emolata. I never intended to hurt her," Olson said on the plea agreement document.
Though the form says the crime that was committed must be described in detail, those were the only two sentences Olson wrote.
More time was spent detailing problems she has had while being held in the Jasper County Jail awaiting trial.
She claims she was not being fed properly and was not being fed a substitute when peanut butter upset her stomach. " Also, "there were no sheets for females, medical is not in a timely manner" and doesn't meet her needs.
"I can go on," she said.
The description of how Carthage Police drew a confession out of Olson was featured in a March 28 Turner Report post:
They had to keep her talking.
No case affects a police officer like the death of a child and it did not take long for Carthage Police officers to realize that Emalata Hoeft did not die from natural causes.
For the next several hours after the discovery of the two-year-old's body on August 15, 2015,, the police had to skate the thin line between skilled interrogation of the suspects- the child's father Albert Steven O'Connor and O'Connor's girlfriend Tearra Olson- and violating their constitutional rights.
Officers separated the two and quickly determined that Olson had been with the child and O'Connor had not been at home. Emalata had thrown a tantrum and Olson was having a hard time dealing with it.
Olson told the officers that Emalata hit her head against a hard surface. It was that blow that killed her.
"So was she acting like she was sleeping?" Officer Steve Norman asked, following up with the question that should never have had to be asked.
"Did you guys think about taking her to the hospital?"
'Did she aggravate you?" Norman asked.
The picture that interview, which was captured on Officer Norman's body camera, provides- is one of a neglected two-year-old who never had a chance.
O'Connor pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child and is serving seven years in prison.
Olson was changing her story as she spoke to the officers, acknowledging that she and O'Connor had left the two-year-old alone with just a sippy cup for as much as five hours at a time while they were working because they could not afford day care.
But it wasn't just when they were working. It had only been a few hours since they decided they were in the mood to eat some Sonic food, left Emalata at home while they drove to Sonic, ordered their food, returned- and never checked in to see if the child was all right.
The interviews at the O'Connor home lasted two hours and 51 minutes. She was given her Miranda rights after she was taken to the police station.
At one point, Norman asked Olson to go with him into the child's room. "Show me what happened."
She started to enter the room, then turned away. "I can't!. I can't!" she said and began crying. The officers did not force her to go into the room.
An officer asked, "Did you call the hospital?"
"I was too scared."