Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist will not seek the death penalty for a Spanaway man who pleaded guilty to killing his wife and daughter.
Lindquist said Tuesday that instead he will recommend Dean Holmes be sentenced Dec. 7 to two life terms without the possibility of parole in the shooting deaths of 41-year-old Kristi Holmes and 11-year-old Violet Holmes.
Holmes shot his wife as she slept in their home Aug. 28; he shot his daughter as she slept in the backseat of the family car.
Lindquist said he made this decision after consulting with leaders in his office.
“We took into account the severity of his crimes, his remorse as demonstrated by his surrender to law enforcement and expeditious plea of guilty, his lack of felony criminal history, the likelihood of the death penalty being upheld and other factors, he said. “We also talked with the family and they are supportive of this decision.”
Lindquist had until Tuesday to make a decision about whether to seek capital punishment for Holmes, who pleaded guilty last week to two counts of aggravated first-degree murder for killing his family. The only other punishment available for someone convicted of the state’s highest crime is life in prison without parole.
Lindquist pointed out that “imposition of the death penalty requires that the prosecutor seek the sentence, a jury unanimously agree upon the sentence, and that all appellate courts, both federal and state, affirm the sentence.”
Holmes told detectives he killed his wife because he’d lied to her repeatedly about their bad financial situation and was certain she was about to find out about his latest deception. Holmes, who worked as a house painter, had been sued several times by clients who said he took their money but did not finish jobs.
Violet and a friend were sleeping in another room at the time. The girls didn’t hear the gunshot, and Holmes later woke them, loaded them into his car and drove the friend home. He shot Violet to death on the way back. Holmes told detectives he didn’t think the girl would be able to cope with the fact he’d killed her mother.
Holmes allegedly contemplated suicide but instead went to authorities to tell them what he’d done.Adam Lynn: adam.lynn@ thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/crime @TNTadam