HAZARD, Ky. (AP) — An eastern Kentucky man has pleaded guilty to killing three people in a domestic dispute at a college campus.
WYMT-TV (http://bit.ly/ShxTNH) reported Dalton Stidham accepted a plea deal which takes the death penalty off the table and recommends life without parole.
He was charged with three counts of murder in the fatal shootings last year of his former girlfriend and two of her family members in the parking lot of Hazard Community and Technical College.
Police have said that Stidham had a child with 20-year-old Caitlin Cornett and had met in the parking lot to exchange custody of the 2-year-old boy. Cornett; her uncle, 53-year-old Jackie Cornett and her 12-year-old cousin, Taylor Jade Cornett, died in the shooting.
Defense attorney Will Collins said his client entered the plea on April 25. Formal sentencing for Stidham was set for June 5.
The Cornett family requested that the deal be offered to Stidham, who accepted.
"I didn't want to feel like I was giving up on my family. But I had to look at the ones that are here and we're still in so much pain," Missy Cornett said. "I don't hate him. I don't feel hate. It's not who I am. But I'm not at forgiveness yet."
Information from: WYMT-TV, http://www.wkyt.com/wymtnews