- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

WEST UNION, W.Va. (AP) - A Doddridge County teenager has pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder in the 2012 shooting deaths of his parents and younger sister.

According to media reports, 17-year-old Joseph B. Spencer entered his plea Wednesday and will be sentenced Feb. 10. He faces up to life in prison.

If a judge accepts a plea agreement, two terms will be served consecutively and the third concurrently with the court to grant mercy.

Defense attorney Rodney Windom called it a “difficult but appropriate resolution of the case.”

Special Prosecutor Philip Morrison told Circuit Judge Tim Sweeney that Spencer used a 9 mm gun to shoot 49-year-old Frederick Arthur Spencer III, 47-year-old Dixie Lee Spencer and 9-year-old Patience Spencer at the family home near West Union.

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