BREAKING: Killer uncle who murdered 5-year-old Elizabeth Shelley sentenced as defense attorney claims Alex Whipple has ‘good qualities’

The Utah man who killed his own niece, 5-year-old Elizabeth “Lizzy” Shelley, has been sentenced to multiple prison terms, without the possibility of parole.

KSL News reporter Kelli Pierce tweeted the news from Alex Whipple’s sentencing in Cache County, Utah,  on Tuesday, reporting that a judge sentenced Shelley’s uncle to life in prison without the possibility of parole, followed by three prison terms, each 25 years to life.

“You will never breathe free air again,” the judge reportedly said. “You must spend the rest of your life in prison.”

Last month, Whipple, now 22, reportedly pleaded guilty to aggravated murder; rape of a child and sodomy of a child; and child kidnapping, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. As CrimeOnline previously reported, Whipple led authorities to Shelley’s remains in late May, as part of an agreement that would spare him the death penalty. She had been missing for five days from her home in Logan before Whipple led authorities to her body, a short distance from her home.

As Pierce reported on Twitter, Whipple’s attorneys argued that their client should be granted parole, as he was allegedly a victim of abuse, and claimed in a statement that he blacked out during the crime. The attorney reportedly claimed in court that his client has “some good qualities.”

Prosecutors and Shelley’s family asked that Whipple be denied parole; and Judge Kevin Allen delivered the maximum sentence, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Shelley’s mother reportedly read a statement outside the courthouse after sentencing.

“The loss of my Lizzy leaves a space in my heart that can’t be filled,” she said.

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