A Utah man admitted Tuesday to murdering and sexually abusing his 5-year-old niece, Elizabeth “Lizzy” Shelley, part of a plea agreement with prosecutors that will spare him a possible death sentence. | Fotolia via Adobe Stock

Prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty for Whipple in exchange for information on where the girl’s body was

LOGAN — A Utah man admitted Tuesday to murdering and sexually abusing his 5-year-old niece, Elizabeth “Lizzy” Shelley, part of a plea agreement with prosecutors that will spare him a possible death sentence.

Alexander William Whipple, 21, entered guilty pleas to charges of aggravated murder, child kidnapping, rape of a child and sodomy on a child, all first degree felonies. In exchange, remaining charges he faced, including desecration of a body, were dismissed.

A shackled Whipple admitted he stabbed the girl with a knife he had taken from her house and spoke little during the hearing. He entered the guilty pleas in Logan’s 1st District Court Monday, the same day a preliminary hearing was scheduled to begin.

Lizzy was reported missing on May 25 after her mother — Whipple’s sister — and her fiance woke up to find Lizzy and Whipple gone from their house. Whipple had been invited to stay on their couch after a night of drinking, court documents say.

Five days later, Whipple agreed to tell his attorney where his niece’s body was. In exchange, prosecutors agreed not to pursue a potential death sentence against him.

After receiving additional evidence from the Utah State Crime Lab, prosecutors filed the sexual abuse charges a day after Lizzy was laid to rest in the Logan City Cemetery.

Police found Lizzy’s remains a half block away from her home, behind a shed and covered by dirt, sticks and other debris, bringing a …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

      

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