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Man accused of killing 15-year-old Utah girl pleads guilty

Shaun French SLCPD.JPG
Shaun French plead guilty to killing 15-year-old Baleigh Bagshaw in May 2018. (Photo: SLCPD)

A man charged with killing a 15-year-old girl, who threatened to tell police he had sex with her, plead guilty to aggravated murder on Wednesday.

Court documents state all other charges against 26-year-old Shaun French were dropped.

Baleigh Bagshaw was killed inside her family's Salt Lake City home on May 7, 2018 while she was talking to her mother on the phone.

A neighbor, who went to check on Bagshaw, saw blood inside the home and called police. Officers later found Bagshaw's body on the kitchen floor.

Court documents state French was considered a suspect because he had previously lived at the home between January 2017 and July 2017. He also allegedly had a sexual relationship with the Bagshaw, which the teen told her mother about on May 2, 2018. The girl said she was 14 years old when the pair had a sexual relationship.

French reportedly tried to blackmail Bagshaw with nude photographs. Court documents state Bagshaw's mother received sexually explicit photographs of her daughter from French. Police said the man called the teen 13 times on the day she was murdered.

Bagshaw's mother told police they were in the process of getting a restraining order against French when murder occurred.

During an interview with French's brother, he told police French was depressed and wanted to cut his own throat. He also said French was obsessed with the teen and wanted to marry her, court documents state.

French was arrested on May 9, 2018 in Colorado after dumping evidence in Evanston, Wyoming. He was arrested on a warrant for unlawful sexual activity with a minor. He was later extradited back to Utah and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on May 23, 2018 after confessing to the murder.

He faced several felony counts, including criminal homicide, aggravated burglary, obstruction of justice and sexual exploitation of a minor, court documents state. In November, prosecutors announced they would seek the death penalty against French. The Associated Press reported Wednesday that prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty as part of French's plea deal.

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