A soldier pleaded guilty Thursday to charges he fatally stabbed his wife on Joint Base Lewis-McChord and raped her daughter in August.
Staff Sgt. Robert S. Chiaravallotti, 41 at the time he was accused, was charged with murder, raping a child and assaulting a child.
The military said Chiaravallotti stabbed his wife, 39-year-old Dionne Chiaravallotti, to death early Aug. 25 at the home of his wife and her children.
Chiaravallotti told a military judge Thursday that just before killing his wife he had intended to attack her then-14-year-old daughter in the same manner. Instead, Chiaravallotti said that, after the girl saw him kill her mother, he raped the teen, as he had done multiple times in the year before the stabbing.
At the time of the crimes, officials said he was stationed in South Korea, where he served in the Eighth Army Band. He had returned to JBLM, where his family was living, on emergency leave, though it was not clear why Thursday.
The soldier gave this account of the August events in court:
His wife came home, and he decided to make her aware of the sexual acts with her daughter. He wanted her to understand what was going on, but didnt have an exit strategy, he said.
He took a knife with a broken tip from the kitchen and went to get a disc with footage of his stepdaughter stripping. The 14-year-old tried to stop him, at which point he cut her forehead with the knife and forced her to sit down.
The video played, and at the end the soldier told his stepdaughter to tell her mother about the rapes. When his wife came at him, enraged, he said, he had been imagining attacking his stepdaughter with the knife but instead used the weapon on his wife.
It was not self-defense, he said.
What I was going to do to (my stepdaughter), I did to Dionne, he told the judge.
The soldier and teenager heard the woman die.
About 10 minutes later he told the girl he was going to kill himself and that he loved her. Then he raped her.
Judge Maj. Stefan R. Wolfe accepted the guilty plea, and had yet to determine a sentence as of Thursday evening as the proceedings continued. A pretrial agreement settled on a maximum sentence of life without parole.
A murder conviction in military court carries a mandatory minimum life sentence.