Former Newark Charter student pleads guilty to luring classmate Madison Sparrow to death

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A former Newark Charter High School student has pleaded guilty to her part in luring a classmate to a wooded area near Newark and beating her to death more than 19 months ago, according to court records.

In addition to admitting to first-degree murder, 18-year-old Annika Stalczynski's electronic court records on Monday said she pleaded guilty to conspiring with 20-year-old Noah Sharp to kill Madison Sparrow in October 2020.

Sharp, who was Sparrow's ex-boyfriend, pleaded not guilty to the killing during a hearing on Monday, according to electronic court records.

Madison Sparrow's family reported her missing on Oct. 2, 2020, after she didn't return home, Delaware State Police said. She was found dead on Oct. 5, 2020.
Madison Sparrow's family reported her missing on Oct. 2, 2020, after she didn't return home, Delaware State Police said. She was found dead on Oct. 5, 2020.

Stalczynski's attorney, Brian J. Chapman, deferred comment until after her sentencing. The Delaware Department of Justice did not immediately provide a comment about the plea when contacted Monday afternoon.

Two arrests in killing: Madison Sparrow's classmate charged in her death

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According to court documents, Sparrow's mother reported the high school junior missing about 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 2, 2020, after she didn't return home from a trip to the store with a friend. The friend has not been publicly identified.

The following night, police issued a Gold Alert for Sparrow, and on Monday afternoon, announced she'd been found dead.

During interviews with family and friends, detectives were told Sparrow had gone "to an area in Newark where her ex-boyfriend, Noah, was located."

Background: Ex-boyfriend said he planned Madison Sparrow's killing with another person, police say

Court documents say that was a "wooded area" behind Maclary Elementary School. When detectives got there, they found a metal baseball bat, which Sharp and Stalczynski are accused of using to beat Sparrow to death, as well as blood droplets.

Investigators also found the clothes Sparrow had been wearing when she left home on Oct. 2.

When detectives questioned Sharp following his Oct. 5 arrest, he admitted to killing his ex-girlfriend, saying he'd hit her in the head with an aluminum baseball bat, according to court records. He also said after Sparrow was dead, he took her body to another "wooded area" near Route 896 and I-95.

That's where police found Sparrow's body.

Tom Mason, grandfather of Madison Sparrow, in 2020 speaks to a gathering of mourners at Riverview Beach Park in Pennsville, New Jersey, to remember the life of Newark Charter Student Madison Sparrow. Sparrow was murdered in Oct. 2, 2020 and police said her ex-boyfriend confessed to the crime.
Tom Mason, grandfather of Madison Sparrow, in 2020 speaks to a gathering of mourners at Riverview Beach Park in Pennsville, New Jersey, to remember the life of Newark Charter Student Madison Sparrow. Sparrow was murdered in Oct. 2, 2020 and police said her ex-boyfriend confessed to the crime.

Court documents don't give a motive for the killing, but Sharp said he and Stalczynski had planned it. They then "carried (it) out in the afternoon/evening hours" of Oct. 2, the day Sparrow went missing, court documents state.

Stalczynski's plea came during her case review hearing on Monday. In exchange for her plea, prosecutors dismissed a weapons charge against her.

No sentencing date has been scheduled, according to the electronic docket.

Sharp's trial is scheduled for next month.

This is a developing story. Check back with delawareonline.com for more information.

Contact Esteban Parra at (302) 324-2299, eparra@delawareonline.com or Twitter @eparra3.

This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: Former Newark Charter student pleads guilty to killing Madison Sparrow