A Nebraska father will be spending the rest of his life in prison, after pleading guilty to three murders and four weapon charges on Monday.
John Dalton Jr., 46, admitted to shooting his father, John Dalton Sr., his mother, Jean Dalton, and his 18-year-old niece, Leonna Dalton-Phillip last December.
According to KETV 7, he was sentenced to life in prison for each count of the three first-degree murders. Further, the weapon charges carry a total maximum of 230 years behind bars.
The day after Christmas, he is said to have entered through the front door of his parents’ home while shooting through it. He shot his father five times, his mother four times, and his niece twice. During the slaughter, his other niece, 6, hid under a nearby couch and was able to identify Dalton Jr. for police.
He leaves behind three daughters, who were all at home when he killed their mom in 1998.
After both shooting incidents, Dalton fled to Tennessee. Police believe he has a connection to someone in the state.
He served 11 years in prison for the shooting of his wife and was released on parole in 2010.
During his most recent sentencing, Alicia Dalton, his youngest daughter, read an open letter to the court.
“My heart stopped Dec. 26, 2017 at 8:51 p.m. My heart was buried January 5, at 1:19 p.m. In a matter of seconds, everything I had was lost. I know that I’ll never be enough for [Dalton Jr.] — no one will. Sincerely, the baby girl you lost.”
As KETV 7 reports, Dalton has offered no explanation for the murders of his relatives.
Brenda Beadle, Chief Deputy Attorney of Douglas County, said:
“Sometimes, there just are [no answers]. It’s just pure evil.”
Others present in court included the father of Dalton’s niece, whom he shot. He spoke about the bright future Dalton had robbed from her before the court calling Dalton’s act “cowardly.”
Dalton’s maternal aunt, LaRhonda McDaniel, was also present. She stood before the court and grieving the loss of loved ones that can “never be replaced.”