Spanaway man pleads guilty to aggravated murders of wife, daughter


TACOMA, Wash. - A Spanaway man who told officers he killed his wife and daughter and then got breakfast at a fast food restaurant pleaded guilty on Tuesday to their murders.


Prosecutors said 40-year-old Dean Holmes shot his wife and 11-year-old daughter on Aug. 28.


Police said that Holmes pulled a .38 caliber revolver from a dresser drawer and shot his wife of 12 years, Christy Holmes, as she was sleeping in bed at their Spanaway home.


Violet Holmes, the couple’s daughter, was sleeping in the living room with a friend. Both girls slept through the gunfire, which was drowned out by a fan running nearby, prosecutors said.


After killing his wife, Holmes woke the girls and drove the friend to her home in Auburn, police said.  On the return trip home, Holmes pulled over to the side of the road and shot his daughter as she slept in the back seat, court documents said.


Holmes eventually turned himself in at the Pierce County Jail the morning of Aug. 29 and told officers he had shot his wife and daughter, investigators said.


 Deputies went to the family’s home where they found the bodies of Holmes’ wife and daughter.


Holmes is charged with two counts of first-degree aggravated murder.


The only possible penalties for the charges are life without the possibility of parole or the death penalty.


A decision will be made on whether or not to seek the death penalty by Nov. 20.


“The fact that the defendant took responsibility by pleading guilty as charged is a factor that I will consider in deciding whether or not to seek the death penalty, but other factors must be considered as well,” said Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.


The Holmes is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 7.