Crime

Man sentenced to life in prison for killing two in Tacoma house

A man charged with the brutal slayings of two people in a Tacoma house because he thought his girlfriend was cheating on him pleaded guilty Thursday and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Prosecutor Mark Lindquist announced last month that Aaron Livingston would not face a death sentence for killing Andrew Geissler, 25, and Denyse Marshall, 60.

Livingston also tried to strangle his then-girlfriend, 40-year-old Julia Wheeler.

On Thursday, he pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated first-degree murder — the state’s highest crime — and one count of attempted first-degree murder.

Livingston addressed the crowded courtroom, apologizing and saying he deserved his sentence.

“I will suffer the rest of my life,” Livingston said in court. “My actions were cowardly.”

On May 23, Livingston went to Wheeler’s house on South 19th Street in the Hilltop neighborhood and used an ax to attack Geissler on the couch.

Livingston suspected the younger man was having an affair with Wheeler because he sometimes slept at the rented home she shared with Marshall, court records show.

Livingston then went upstairs and beat Wheeler with a wooden walking stick, choking her unconscious before returning downstairs and strangling Marshall. He also repeatedly struck Marshall with a dumbbell.

Next he grabbed a knife from the kitchen and cut the throats of Geissler and Marshall.

The deadly attack came a day after Livingston was arrested on suspicion of beating Wheeler and Geissler. He was booked into jail but released before prosecutors filed charges.

Livingston was arrested after he found a police officer in the neighborhood and told him he’d done something “bad.”

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