An Idaho man pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the beheading death of his estranged wife in a deal that spares him the death penalty, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors had originally sought a death sentence, accusing Alofa Time of first-degree murder with aggravating factors because they said they had evidence he tortured Theresa Time before killing her last June 15.
Under the plea agreement on Thursday, Time, 51, is to be sentenced to life in prison without parole. Formal sentencing was set for March 5.
Teresa Time's decapitated body was found after her husband, carrying the severed head in his pickup truck, swerved into oncoming traffic and collided with a sedan, killing Samantha Nina Murphy, 36, and her daughter, Jaelynne Grimes, 4. The impact caused the head to fly onto the road.
Time still faces two second-degree murder charges for the traffic deaths, the AP reports.
He had been scheduled to appear in state district court in July after his wife accused him of beating her.
A message was left after hours with a firm that does public defending for Canyon County.