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Jeppson takes plea deal; murder charges dropped


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PROVO -- One of the men charged with murdering missing teenager Kiplyn Davis took a plea deal Wednesday, but it won't result in any information that could finally solve her disappearance.

Chris Jeppson pleaded "no contest" to a charge of obstruction of justice, for lying to the grand jury investigating the case. Under oath, he also told the judge he was not involved and has absolutely no information about what happened to the teenager.

The plea deal ends prosecutors murder case against Jeppson, who was set to stand trial later this month. The case was in trouble, because of no physical evidence linking Jeppson to Kiplyn's murder and was largely based on two witnesses who claimed he was involved in her disappearance back in 1995.

For Kiplyn's family, who have always attended court hearings in the case, there are still questions that they believe Jeppson has the answers to.

"If Mr. Jeppson would have told the truth back in March of 2005, he might be with his family right now and we might have had Kiplyn by now, if he would have just told the truth back then," said Richard Davis, Kyplin's father.

Defense Attorney Scott Williams said, "Chris Jeppson knows nothing about circumstances or cause of Kiplyn Davis's disappearance. He has never wavered on that. He has given statements since 1995, all of them support that. He was subjected to a polygraph, which he passed. He knows nothing about it."

As part of the plea deal, Jeppson will drop his appeal of a five-year federal perjury sentence and will allow this obstruction sentence to be served at the same time. Jeopardy also attaches to the case, meaning he can never face any additional charges relating to the Kiplyn Davis case.

Prosecutors are still pursuing the murder case against Timmy Olsen, whose trial is on hold while he appeals to the Utah Supreme Court. He wants to have his trial moved out of Utah County.

E-mail: spenrod@ksl.com

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Sam Penrod

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