The family of five-year-old Lizzy Shelley is breathing a little easier, as her murderer pleaded guilty to all serious charges facing him.
Alexander Whipple entered a guilty plea Tuesday, admitting to killing and sexually assaulting his five year old niece, Lizzy Shelley. In May, Whipple was arrested and charged after a five day search for the girl.
Lizzy’s aunt, Liesel Merrill, spoke on behalf of the family following the hearing.
“We would like to thank those who have offered words of comfort, thoughts and prayers during our nightmare. We miss Lizzy immensly. We are hopeful that the criminal case can be resolved quickly so we can continue to grieve without the worries of the court hearings.”
Whipple pleaded guilty to aggravated murder, the rape and sodomy of a child, and child kidnapping. As a part of the plea deal, the rest of the charges were dismissed. Whipple’s defense attorney, Shannon Demler, said that does not mean the case is any less serious.
“Today we entered a plea obviously to very serious charges that carry a very serious penalty. We knew that was coming based on the facts of the case.”
Demler said Whipple will be undergoing mental evaluations prior to his sentencing hearing, set for late September.
“Our argument is to give him a chance to change in prison,” he said.
Merrill reiterated that Lizzy was an outoing, positive child.
“Lizzy was about kindness happiness and looking for butterflies and rainbows. We ask that people everywhere remember to live like Lizzy.”