Rick Thorburn, foster father of Tiahleigh Palmer, will plead guilty to murdering the Gold Coast schoolgirl.
Thorburn’s lawyer told the Brisbane Supreme Court on Monday Thorburn, 57, would enter a plea on May 25 to murdering the 12-year-old and disposing of her body.
Tiahleigh’s body was found on the banks of the Pimpama River in October 2015, six days after she went missing while in the care of Thorburn and his family.
Her foster father was arrested and charged in September 2016, and in July 2017 was committed to stand trial for murder.
Thorburn’s lawyer, told the court next month’s pre-trial hearing should be dismissed and requested a sentencing date, ABC News reported.
Thorburn, who was not in court on Monday, will also plead guilty to a charge of perjury relating to lies he told about the young girl’s disappearance, his lawyer said.
A pre-trial hearing later this week where Thorburn was expected to seek a judge-only trial because of publicity around the high-profile case has been cancelled.
Thorburn remains in custody and is facing a life sentence for the murder.
Trent Thorburn, Rick’s 20-year-old son, was released in January after serving 16 months in jail for incest, perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Julene Thorburn, Rick’s wife, was jailed for 18 months in jail for perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice over Tiahleigh’s death.
Joshua Thorburn, Rick’s other son, pleaded guilty to perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice and was jailed for three months in July 2017.
Tiahleigh’s death led to reviews of protocols on cases of children who go missing while in out-of-home care.