A Colorado teen who pleaded guilty to killing a 10-year-old girl has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years.
Aidan Zellmer was sentenced Monday in the June 2017 beating death of Kiaya Campbell of Thornton.
Zellmer was 15 at the time and was charged as an adult. He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder after deliberation on Feb. 1, and prosecutors agreed to drop a charge of first-degree murder of a child.
Police said Campbell and Zellmer were walking together to go shopping when she disappeared. Her body was found the next day.
Police said Zellmer told investigators that he got separated from Campbell during a rainstorm.
District Attorney Dave Young called it the most violent act he has seen a 15-year-old commit.
“Fifteen-year-olds make bad decisions but they don’t commit cruel, heinous crimes like this,” Young said, according to The Denver Channel. “After striking her five times win the head with a metal pipe, he left her in a field. When he talked to police, he was calm, cool and collected.”