Dean Holmes already admitted to Pierce County sheriff’s detectives that he shot his wife and daughter to death in August.
This afternoon, Holmes, 40, reiterated his confession in court, pleading guilty to two counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the deaths of his wife, Kristi Holmes, and their daughter, Violet.
It was an unusually speedy resolution for a double-murder case, and Holmes’ quick plea might help him avoid a potential death sentence.
Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said today Holmes’ willingness to take responsibility for his crimes and to do so in a expeditious manner would factor into his decision about whether to seek capital punishment for Holmes. Lindquist said he hopes to make that decision later this week after meeting with his senior staff.
Lindquist has until next week to make the decision. Holmes would face life in prison if prosecutors opt against the death penalty.
Holmes shot his 41-year-old wife to death as she slept in their Spanaway home on Aug. 28. He told detectives he killed her because he’d lied to her repeatedly about their bad financial situation and was certain she was about to find out about his latest deception. He feared that his wife would leave him and take their daughter with her.
He later killed Violet as she slept in the backseat of the family car. Holmes told detectives he didn’t think the girl would be able to cope with the fact he’d murdered her mother.
Holmes allegedly contemplated killing himself but instead went to authorities to tell what he’d done.