Spanaway man who murdered wife, daughter to receive life in prison

TACOMA -- Dean Holmes, the Spanaway man charged with shooting his wife and 11-year-old daughter before heading through a McDonald's drive-thru, will spend his life in prison.

Holmes pleaded guilty earlier this month to two counts of aggravated murder in Pierce County Superior Court.

Holmes, 40, changed his plea from not guilty, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said. With the change in plea, he faced life in prison without parole or the death penalty. Lindquist said he came to the decision to recommend two life sentences without the possibility of parole instead of the death penalty.

"Dean Holmes will be spending the rest of his life in prison with no chance of parole," Lindquist said. "I made this decision after consultation with leaders in the 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. We also talked with the family and they are supportive of this decision. Balancing all considerations, I believe justice is achieved by two life sentences without the possibility of parole."

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.