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Spanaway Man Pleads Guilty to Killing Wife, Daughter

Dean Holmes plead guilty to killing his wife and daughter today in Pierce County court. Avoiding a jury trial might spare the Spanaway man from a death penalty conviction.

Dean Holmes already confessed to the murders of his wife and daughter, and today he admitted it in court.

The 40-year-old Spanaway man appeared in Pierce County court today to answer to two counts of aggravated first-degree murder. He plead guilty.

Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist told the Tacoma News Tribune that the fact Holmes confessed to the murders will be considered while his office contemplates a capital punishment sentence. Lindquist is expected to make a decision later this week.

Late in the evening of Aug. 28, Holmes took a .38 caliber gun out of his bedroom's dresser drawer and shot Kristi Holmes, his wife of 12 years, while she slept at their home on 20th Ave. Ct. E. Their 11-year-old daughter, Violet, was having a sleepover with a friend in the living room. Holmes told police a fan was blowing in the living room and the girls slept through the gunshots.

According to his statement to police, Holmes woke the girls up and drove them to her friend's home in Auburn. He dropped the friend off at her home and drove around with Violet in the backseat for some time.

At the corner of 22nd Ave. and 180th St., he pulled over, got out of the car and shot Violet several times through an open window in the backseat while she slept. Holmes told investigators he reasoned that Violet wouldn't be able to live with the knowledge that her mother was dead and her father was in prison for her murder.

With Violet's body still in the backseat, Holmes drove to a fast food restaurant and ordered food through a drive-through. He told police he contemplated suicide but couldn't pull the trigger.

Detectives say he then took his daughter's body home and placed her in bed with his dead wife. He told police he tried to clean up the evidence but realized that he wouldn't be able to. He said he then watched some TV then left his house and drove around aimlessly. He stopped at Ruston Way and sat by the waterfront before turning himself in to the Pierce County Jail just before 5 a.m. on Aug. 29.

According to the Department of Revenue, Holmes owed more than $18,000 in unpaid back taxes for his painting business. He had financial issues, was lying to his wife and had at least one unhappy customer in Puyallup after he left a job unfinished, according to multiple sources.

Do you think Dean Holmes' confession should spare him from the death penalty? Tell us in the comments.

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