Petition calls for death penalty for man accused of killing his five-year-old niece

Mail Online | 5/31/2019 | Snejana Farberov For Dailymail.com
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An online petition has been launched calling on Utah prosecutors to break their agreement with a murder suspect accused of killing his five-year-old niece and seek the death penalty against him.

The body of Elizabeth 'Lizzy' Shelley was found on Wednesday less than a block from her home in Salt Lake City after her 21-year-old uncle, Alex Whipple, led police to the dirt-covered body following a five-day search.

Whipple - Murder - Map - Location - Shelley

Whipple, who has been charged with murder, provided a map showing the location of Shelley's body in exchange for prosecutors taking the death penalty off the table, Logan Police Chief Gary Jensen said.

But the deal between prosecutors and Whipple, which was reached with the blessing of Shelley's family, has left many in the community outraged.

Petition - Site - Avaaz - Org - Utah

A petition has appeared on the site Avaaz.org asking that the Utah Attorney General's Office put the death penalty back on the table, as KUTV first reported Friday.

'I firmly believe that Alexander should receive the death penalty,' the author of the petition wrote. 'An eye for an eye or in this case, a life for a life.'

Friday - Afternoon - People - Petition - Counting

As of Friday afternoon, more than 9,100 people have signed the petition, and counting.

Cache County Attorney James Swink told KSL-TV in an interview on Thursday that before agreeing to take the death penalty off the table, he reached out to Lizzy's mother, who told him that the family's top priority was to bring her daughter home.

Weather - Conditions - Location - Body - Body

'Without the weather conditions, where they’ve been unseasonably cool, and the location of her body her body would not have been found in such a good condition,' Swink explained.

He stressed that the decision to remove the threat of capital punishment was not taken lightly.

'With - Penalties - Life - Possibility

'With that said, we will seek the harshest penalties possible that’s available to us, which will now be life without the possibility...
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