Ex-Firefighter Sentenced to 80 Years in Prison for Killing Three Family Members

CHRISTIANSTED, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) -- A former firefighter convicted of killing three family members last year - including his infant son - was sentenced to 80 years in prison in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Superior Court Judge Edgar D. Ross handed down the sentence Wednesday against 32-year-old Jose Carillo III, who pleaded guilty to the May 2004 shooting deaths of his common-law wife, Natasha Cummings, 31, the couple's 6-week-old son, Thai, and Carillo's half brother, Wayne Walcott, 25, on St. Croix island.

The guilty plea allowed Carillo to avoid the possibility of receiving three life sentences.

Prior to sentencing, Carillo's lawyer sought to have the guilty plea thrown out and have the case heard by a jury, claiming his client didn't fully understanding the plea bargaining process.

The judge denied the request after a lengthy recess and sentenced Carillo to two 35-year prison terms for the deaths of Cummings and their son, and an additional 10 years for Walcott's killing.

The sentences will be served consecutively. Carillo will be eligible for parole, however, the terms were not released.