The North Carolina man arrested for killing of pregnant Food Network chef Cristie Schoen Codd and her husband Joseph has pleaded guilty to the crime, RadarOnline. com has learned.
As Radar previously reported, Robert Jason Owens was charged with three counts of second-degree murder and two counts of dismembering remains following the crime in March 2015, when he mutilated Cristie, 38, Joseph, 45, and their unborn baby and burned them over a wood stove.
Owens had worked as a contractor for the Codds, becoming a suspect after his neighbor him dumping "unusually large" trash bags in a nearby dumpster.
Sheriff Van Duncan previously told Radar: “He had done some odd jobs for them.”
According to the Citizen-Times, citing an arrest warrant in the case, Owens stole a laptop computer, jewelry and a gun from Codd’s home.
Owens' attorney argued that Owens was "heavily impaired" on prescription medication for a mental illness during the time of the killings, but to no avail.
District Attorney Todd Williams called the crime "among the most disturbing killings in Buncombe County history," CBS reported.
"Because there are no surviving witnesses and Jason Owens had exclusive control of the crime scene for several days, and he had nearly completed the gruesome project of cremating his victims' remains, we will never know many of the facts surrounding the Codds' deaths," Williams said.
"What we do know is that through both a solid investigation and a competent interrogation by law enforcement, Jason Owens confessed to being responsible for killing the Codds and further admitted to dismembering and burning their physical remains in his wood stove."
Owens accepted a plea bargain to avoid the death penalty, with a sentence between 59 1/2 and 74 1/2 years.
"We can only hope that he suffers for the remainder of his life on Earth and again as he rots in hell," family members of Cristie said in a statement to the Citizen-Times.
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