An Indiana County man was sentenced to life in prison Friday after he pleaded guilty to stabbing his estranged wife and daughters to death this summer.
Lewis Beatty, 41, of South Mahoning pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder as part of deal in which prosecutors agreed to give him three consecutive life sentences instead of pursing the death penalty.
Police found Beatty's estranged wife, Christine Beatty, 33, in the doorway of a mobile home on Pfeiffer Road in East Mahoning when they responded to a report of a fire on June 1. They found his daughters, Amanda, 11, and Sara, 6, at a home on Morrow Road in South Mahoning after they were called there to report a fire.
All three had stab wounds to the neck.
Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty said prosecutors agreed to the plea deal after consulting with Ms. Beatty's parents.
"The family has struggled every day for seven months," Mr. Dougherty said. "It gave them certainty ... that he will never see life outside the jail."
Beatty, distraught about the break-up with his wife, felt that "life got a little ahead of him," said his attorney, Fred Hummel Jr. He said Beatty sought help from a doctor about a week before the deaths because he was having suicidal and homicidal thoughts and was sent home less than an hour after he arrived at the doctor's office.
"Mr. Beatty is in a difficult position," Mr. Hummel said. "He is a little beaten down by what he has caused."