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Man gets life without parole in killing of 5-year-old niece

A Utah man who pleaded guilty to killing his 5-year-old niece has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.

The girl’s relatives called him a “monster” during an emotional hearing on Tuesday.

Judge Kevin K. Allen told Alex Whipple he deserved life behind bars for the “terror” he inflicted on Elizabeth “Lizzy” Shelley, her family and the community.

The 22-year-old Whipple declined to speak. His attorney, Shannon Demler, said his client knew he committed a horrible act, while saying he was abused as a child.

Police say he killed the girl on May 25, after his sister let him spend the night at the family home. Lizzy was missing for five days.

Whipple pleaded guilty last month to murder, kidnapping and sexual assault.

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