Aspiring horrorcore rapper Richard McCroskey, 21, today received a life sentence after pleading guilty to the slaying of 4 people in Farmville, Va. McCroskey admitted that relationship problems had prompted him to kill girlfriend Emma Niederbrock, 16, her mother Debra Kelley, and Melanie Wells, a visiting friend of Emma's, in their sleep with a wood-splitting maul, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. He later killed Emma's father, Mark Niederbrock, when he came to check on the family.
While some family members of the victims had wanted the death penalty for McCroskey, Commonwealth attorney James Ennis said that they ultimately decided to go along with the plea agreement. "What it really means is death in prison," Ennis said. "It’s a guaranteed outcome, and hopefully it will bring some measure of closure to the family." McCroskey's attorney said his client had "left families without their loved ones. He's not proud of that."