Source AP ©

Ex-convict pleads guilty in New Hampshire botched robbery

An ex-convict who commited multistate crimes after leaving prison pleaded guilty Friday to killing three men during a botched robbery in New Hampshire.

He faced mandatory sentences of life in prison without parole.

Michael Woodbury entered the plea to fatally shooting James Walker, manager of the Army Barracks store in Conway, on July 2, along with two customers, William Jones, 25, and his friend Gary Jones, 23.

Lawyers on both sides of the case had declined to comment in advance of the hearing. Kenny Jones, father of William Jones, had said Woodbury, who had publicly admitted killing the three men, agreed to plead guilty in return for his choice of state prisons.

The formal sentencing was expected after statements from the victims' families.

Woodbury, a 31-year-old from the U.S. state of Maine, was released May 4 from Maine State Prison after serving five years for robbery and theft. Authorities say he left the state a month later, heading south with two teenage sisters in a car allegedly stolen from their mother.

Woodbury is accused of robbing a bank in South Carolina, breaking into a million-dollar home in Georgia and then setting it on fire and holding up a clothing store June 19 in Tennessee. All the incidents occurred in June.

Both sisters eventually broke away from Woodbury, one of them hiding from him in a gas station restroom the day before the Tennessee robbery.

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