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Judge reads murder charge against uncle in girl’s death

A Utah man charged with kidnapping and killing his 5-year-old niece has appeared in court for first the first time on murder and other charges.

Twenty one-year-old Alex Whipple was handcuffed and silent as a judge read out the charges he faces, including aggravated murder and child kidnapping. He was denied bail.

The Herald Journal reports defense attorney Shannon Demler asked for a pretrial conference to be held on June 24.

Prosecutors say Whipple took Elizabeth “Lizzy” Shelley from her home and killed her on May 25 after spending the night at his sister’s house.

Authorities searched for the girl for five days before he told his lawyer where he’d hidden her, after prosecutors promised to take the death penalty off the table.

She was found less than a block from her home.

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