- Associated Press - Friday, April 28, 2017

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - A plea deal will allow a man charged with murder in a couple’s deaths to avoid the death penalty.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports (https://avlne.ws/2qa7yCN) under the terms of Thursday’s plea deal, 37-year-old Robert Jason Owens had to admit to killing 38-year-old Cristie Schoen Codd, 45-year-old Joseph “J.T.” Codd and their unborn daughter in March 2015. He also pleaded guilty to two counts of dismembering human remains.

Owens will spend between 59 years to 74 years in prison under terms of the deal, which a judge approved.

Buncombe County District Attorney Todd Williams says the Codds’ family members also approved the arrangement.

Detectives said in search warrants that Owens admitted to storing and destroying the victims’ bodies after accidentally running them over with a pickup truck.

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Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, https://www.citizen-times.com

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