Nebraska man pleads guilty to killing stepdaughter

By: Newsroom

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.''