- Associated Press - Friday, July 21, 2017

SANFORD, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing his wife and stepdaughter.

Media outlets report 56-year-old Billy Jo McLean avoided the death penalty by pleading guilty Thursday to two counts of first-degree murder.

Sanford firefighters found the bodies of 42-year-old Calandra McLean and 13-year-old Tashonna Cameron inside the family’s home in July 2015.

Autopsies determined both had been strangled before the house was set on fire. Calandra McLean had been bound and gagged with duct tape.

Afterward, authorities say Billy Jo McLean took his 17-year-old stepson on a trip to Texas. While McLean slept, the teen walked to a nearby diner, read about the killings on Facebook, and asked diner employees to call 911.

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