No-Contest Plea in McCook Murder Case
Thursday Stathis Kirkpatrick, 20, pleaded no-contest to first-degree murder for the 2011 death of 14-year-old Kailee Clapp of McCook.
Kirkpatrick earlier pleaded not guilty to the murder and other charges. He was also originally deemed unfit to stand trial, but that ruling was eventually reversed.
"This horrifying crime rocked the town of McCook. Under the guise of friendship, Mr. Kirkpatrick lured Kailee from her home, murdered her and burned her body," said Attorney General Jon Bruning. "Today's plea ensures he will face justice and will never again be allowed to terrorize this community."
Kailee Clapp was reported missing on January 21, 2011. Later that night, law enforcement discovered her burned body at the Bartley Cemetery.
Kirkpatrick faces a life sentence for the first-degree murder charge. Sentencing is set for November 20, 2012.
Multiple law enforcement agencies aided in the investigation including the McCook Police Department, the Red Willow County Sheriff's Office, the Nebraska State Patrol and the FBI Evidence Recovery Team.
Assistant Attorneys General Corey O'Brien and Sandra Allen handled the case in cooperation with Red Willow County Attorney Paul Wood.