- Associated Press - Friday, February 6, 2015

VENTURA, Calif. (AP) - A man who invaded a Ventura County beach house and stabbed to death a couple after sexually assaulting the pregnant wife was sentenced Friday to three consecutive life terms in prison.

A Superior Court judge who sentenced Joshua Packer called the 25-year-old “the worst of the worst.” He will be ineligible for parole.

Prosecutors said Packer planned to rob Brock and Davina Husted when he entered their Faria Beach home through an open sliding glass door in May 20, 2009. He forced the woman to perform oral sex and attacked the 42-year-olds to death with a kitchen knife.

The Husteds were each stabbed more than 20 times.

Before the killings, their 9-year-old son had run to get money from his mother’s purse to appease the robber, authorities said. Afterward, he woke his 11-year-old sister and they fled through a bedroom window to a neighbor’s home.

“I never believed there was evil in this world” until that night, Isabella Husted, now 16, told the court before the sentencing.

His defense had argued that Packer was physically and sexually abused as a child.

“I don’t care what pain he went through as a child … I have no pity,” Husted said in her victim impact statement. “Joshua Packer has caused so much pain … and nothing can replace moments I could’ve had with my baby brother.”

Packer did not speak at the sentencing because he thought it “would be hollow and self-serving and detract from what the families have said today,” said Benjamin Maserang of the Ventura County public defender’s office.

“He accepts responsibility for his actions,” Maserang told the Ventura County Star (https://bit.ly/1xBrVUe). “He is relieved that his family and the victims’ families will not have to go through the ordeal of a trial or any proceedings in this matter.”

Packer was linked to the killings in 2010 by DNA testing of a sample taken following his arrest on suspicion of robbing a gas station in Santa Barbara County. The sample matched DNA found on the visor of the motorcycle helmet used by the killer, prosecutors said.

Packer avoided the death penalty by pleading guilty in December to first-degree murder of the Husteds and their unborn child, a boy who was to be named Grant. He also pleaded guilty to robbery and forcible oral copulation and was sentenced to 30 years and 4 months in prison in addition to the life terms.

His lawyers said Packer had offered to take a plea deal in exchange for a life sentence for years. But the prosecution wanted to pursue the death penalty.

The deal finally was accepted after the California Supreme Court ordered a hearing on whether the top prosecutor, Mike Frawley, should be removed from the case because his children had spent time with Packer in a church youth group years ago.

In court papers, Frawley said that ruling would have meant additional delay in the case and that Husted family members had “suffered tremendously as the wheels of justice slowly turned.”

In a statement released Friday, county Public Defender Steve Lipson said Packer’s sentence was a “fair” and “just disposition and closure.”

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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