Utah's federal prosecutor has decided against seeking the death penalty for a man who drove 1,800 miles to Missouri with the body of his ex-girlfriend stashed in the car.
A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman said there were several issues involved in the decision, including Michael Doyel's mental health.
The U.S. Justice Department in Washington will make a final decision, Melodie Rydalch said.
Doyel, 47, is charged with kidnapping Deborah Jones, 50. The charge can lead to the federal death penalty if the kidnapping results in death, but prosecutors have much discretion.
Separately, charges of first-degree murder, obstruction of justice and theft have been filed against Doyel in Salt Lake County. He appeared in 3rd District Court by video camera Friday, two days after refusing to leave his jail cell.
Police in Branson, Mo., found Jones' body stuffed in a storage container in her car outside a motel on April 21. Doyel was discovered inside the motel with another woman.
Authorities said he admits buying the container in Utah and driving from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas to Missouri. An autopsy found Jones was asphyxiated, likely due to strangulation.