Man who slayed wife, child sentenced to life in prison

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TACOMA, Wash. - A Spanaway man who confessed to killing his wife and daughter was sentenced Friday to life in prison.

 

Dean Holmes was emotional, crying during his hearing at the Pierce County Superior Court in Tacoma.

 

In August, Holmes turned himself into police, confessing that he killed his wife, Christy Holmes, and her 11-year-old daughter, Violet, police said.

 

According to prosecutors, Holmes told police he killed them to prevent his wife from learning about their dire finances.

 

Last month, Holmes pleaded guilty to aggravated murders.

 

Family of Christy Holmes and Violet were in tears as they told a Pierce County Superiors Court judge about the pain caused by Dean Holmes.

 

“The callousness of this horrible act has ruined my life,” said Barbara Hamilton. “First, I was in total disbelief. Then I was in slow-motion fog.”

 

Hamilton said her family did not agree with the decision to not seek the death penalty for Holmes.

 

“We wanted the death penalty on the table so the judge or jury could have the choice,” said Hamilton.

 

A Pierce County prosecutor told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News that he considered several factors in not seeking the death penalty.

 

“The level of remorse. The fact that he quickly pleaded guilty, and the likelihood of the death penalty being carried out under these facts,” said prosecutor Mark Lindquist.

 

During Holmes’ brief hearing, he apologized and softly said, "Sorry."

 

“Every day for the rest of my life, I have to live with the guilt,” Holmes said.

 

The Pierce County judge sent Holmes to life behind bars without the possibility of parole.