SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – An 18-year-old is pleading guilty to rape and murder in the 2015 death of a 12-year-old Utah girl he’s accused of luring from her home with a story about a lost cat.

Jayden Matthew Sterzer pleaded guilty to rape in juvenile court Monday. He was 15 when police say he strangled Kailey Vijil (VIJ’-el) and left her in a horse pasture.

Sterzer also was expected to plead guilty to murder in adult court as part of a blended plea deal that will allow him to stay in a juvenile detention center until he turns 21.

The Associated Press hadn’t previously named Sterzer because he was a minor and his case was being handled entirely in juvenile court.

He was found fit for trial after getting treatment for unspecified mental disorders and intellectual disabilities.


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.


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