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Timmy Olsen pleads guilty to role in Kiplyn Davis killing

He said he helped move her body after witnessing someone else kill her

Published: Saturday, Feb. 12 2011 12:21 a.m. MST

Kiplyn Davis' parents, Richard and Tamara Davis,hold each other in relief at the end of the hearing in 3rd District Court Friday, Feb. 11, 2011. Timmy Brent Olsen pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Kiplyn's death.

Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

Enlarge photo»

WEST JORDAN — Timmy Brent Olsen pleaded guilty Friday to a role in the killing of Spanish Fork teenager Kiplyn Davis nearly 16 years ago, finally bringing at least partial resolution to the long-running case.

Olsen, 33, pleaded guilty to manslaughter, a second-degree felony, and was immediately sentenced to one to 15 years in prison. Under the plea deal, he does not have to reveal where Davis' body is buried.

Prosecutor Mariane O'Bryant said the Davis family agreed to the deal.

Olsen's attorney, Jeremy Delicino, said in court that Olsen saw another person strike Davis twice in the head with a softball-size rock, then helped that person move her body. That other individual was never identified in court Friday.

Olsen declined to say anything about the crime when he was sentenced in court Friday.

Delicino said Olsen and another individual met up on May 2, 1995, and drove up Spanish Fork Canyon with Kiplyn. At some point, she and the other person went out of sight. After about 30 to 45 minutes, Olsen said he went to look for them because he heard an argument, according to Delicino.

When Olsen reached the area where the two were, Olsen said he saw the other person strike her on the right side of the head with the rock. Kiplyn fell, and he then saw the other person strike her again on the right side of the head with the rock.

According to Delicino, Olsen approached the other person and asked what that person was doing. That person asked him to help move the body. At that point, Kiplyn was unconscious and Olsen said he didn't know whether she was dead.

Olsen helped move her underneath a line of trees, then returned to the vehicle with the second person and left the area. Neither of them summoned help. The two returned later that evening and moved Kiplyn's body to the other person's vehicle. At that time, it was apparent she was dead, the defense attorney said.

Even though the person who allegedly struck and killed Kiplyn wasn't identified, Kiplyn's father said he believes he knows who it was.

"I think we all know, but I'm not going to mention any name right now," Richard Davis said after the court hearing. Davis, however, said he believes it's one of the men already convicted in federal court of lying in connection with his daughter's death.

In previous court hearings, Olsen was accused of making statements to police that placed David Rucker Leifson at the scene of the crime. Olsen allegedly also bragged to people in the past that he and Leifson took Davis from school and drove her up the canyon that day.

In an FBI interview, Olsen started writing a statement implicating Leifson but then crumpled it up and threw it away. On another occasion, Leifson threatened to kill Olsen if he kept mentioning him in connection with Kiplyn's disappearance.

Of the five men indicted on perjury charges in the case, prosecutors believe Leifson was probably the closest to Kiplyn. Both attended the same school and had developed a friendship through the school's drama club.

Davis thanked Olsen for his plea, saying he forgives him. But he begged Olsen to tell authorities where his daughter's body is located.

"It's like she's suffering, like she's still cold," he said of not knowing where she is.

Davis offered to speak on Olsen's behalf with the state Board of Pardons and Parole in order to get him released early if he would agree to provide more information about the location of the body and to speak out against the two other people Davis believes were involved in his daughter's death.

He also offered to help pay for school and dental work while Olsen is in prison. Olsen sat with his head bowed, avoiding eye contact while Davis spoke.

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