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Raleigh man backs out of plea deal in deaths of wife, daughter

The Raleigh man accused in the deaths of his wife and 2-year-old daughter was expected to plead guilty to the crimes in a Wake County courtroom on Thursday, but that is not what happened.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The Raleigh man accused in the deaths of his wife and 2-year-old daughter was expected to plead guilty to the crimes in a Wake County courtroom on Thursday, but that is not what happened.

Elhadji Diop was to plead guilty to second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter and be sentenced to 30 years in prison as part of a plea deal.

Instead, he pleaded not guilty in the case and will go to trial in March on two first-degree murder charges.

Diop is charged in the deaths of his wife, Aminata Drame, 40, and daughter Fatim Diop.

The two were found inside their home in the 5900 block of Farm Gate Road on April 5, 2016, after officers were dispatched to the house to conduct a welfare check after relatives in Africa saw photos of the bodies posted on social media.

Upon arrival, police also found that Elhadji Diop had self-inflicted lacerations and had ingested toxic substances. He was taken to WakeMed and formally charged upon release from the hospital.

Diop's attorney, Chuck Caldwell, said he was surprised by his client's decision, but that anyone can reject a plea deal at any time.

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