HARRISON, Neb. (AP) – A 32-year-old Nebraska Panhandle man has made a deal to avoid the death penalty and pleaded guilty to killing his 8-year-old stepdaughter.
Salvador Lopez, of Mitchell, on Thursday admitted killing Kerra Wilson.
Her body was found Sept. 22 on remote ranchland in Sioux County, several miles north of their home. A search began the day before when she failed to arrive at school.
In exchange for Lopez’s plea, prosecutors dropped a provision that could have led to the death penalty. Instead, Lopez will be given the mandatory life sentence.
An autopsy showed the girl died of strangulation and head injuries from a shovel.
Prosecutors also say Lopez killed Wilson because she told him she was going to tell her mother that he “had touched her in a bad way.”