LOGAN, Utah, May 29, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Alex Whipple, the prime suspect in the abduction of his 5-year-old niece, Lizzy Shelley, made his first court appearance Tuesday.
Whipple, 21, appeared via a live video link before 1st District Court Judge Kevin Allen directly from the Logan County Jail.
Dressed in a blue jumpsuit, and showing little emotion, Whipple appeared to listen intently as the court outlined the six misdemeanor charges he’s currently being held on, including: failure to disclose identity, a class B misdemeanor; purchase of alcohol by an interdicted person, a class B misdemeanor; failure to stop at the command of a law enforcement or a peace officer, a class A misdemeanor; possession or use of a controlled substance, a class B misdemeanor; possession of paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor; purchasing, transferring, or possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a class A misdemeanor.
In addressing the court, prosecutors asked Judge Allen to deny Whipple’s bail, characterizing him as a flight risk who was in possession of a weapon at the time of his arrest — an apparent reference to a metal bat he was carrying when taken into custody by sheriff’s deputies on a remote rural road last Saturday afternoon.
“He’s also the only suspect in a missing child investigation,” said prosecutors said.
Whipple’s newly appointed public defense attorney, Shannon Demler, countered prosecutors, asking Allen to set bail in accordance with the charges that had actually been filed in the case.
Allen denied the defense motion, saying that based on “information from the state” he was denying Whipple’s bail request. He set a new bail hearing for June 3, 2019 to review the case.
When asked if he had any questions, Whipple shook his head. “No,” he said, in a subdued voice, seemingly deep in thought.
Just hours prior to the bail hearing, Logan Police Chief Gary Jensen told reporters investigators had a strong case against Whipple, including DNA evidence.
To see the raw, uncut press pool video of Tuesday’s bail hearing, click on the video player above.
- For an updated story, click here.