Post by SoulTrainOz on Jul 24, 2006 6:43:48 GMT -5
In Jeffersonville, a man accused of killing his pregnant wife and their 11-month-old son and stuffing the bodies into a storage container will plead guilty to the killings.
If a judge accepts the plea agreement entered Friday in Clark Circuit Court, Zachariah Melcher would avoid the death penalty, but spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Melcher, 28, had faced the death penalty for the murders of his 23-year-old wife, Christian Young Melcher, who was eight months pregnant, and the couple's 11-month-old son Jaiden.
If the state or defense withdraws from the plea agreement, or Clark Circuit Judge Daniel F. Donahue rejects it, Melcher's trial would begin Sept. 19.
Clark County Prosecutor Steve Stewart said in a statement that the victims' family opposed the death penalty for Melcher because they did not want to face repeated death penalty hearings if he had been convicted and sentenced to death.
"They have strongly expressed their desire for a penalty that will ensure that the defendant is in prison forever, and they want to begin the difficult process of healing and closure," Stewart said.
Investigators said Melcher confessed during a police interview to strangling his wife and suffocating his son by placing a plastic bag over the boy's head on April 16, 2005, at their Jeffersonville apartment.
Their bodies were found stuffed inside a large plastic household storage container.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed by Jeffersonville police Detective Charles Thompson, Melcher said, "I gave them peace and calm."