JACKSONVILLE, FL (WJXT/CNN) - A man in Florida will avoid the death penalty for the 2017 home invasion and murder of a beloved music teacher.
Adam Lawson pleaded guilty Thursday to killing Deborah Liles and will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
After informing the court he had made a deal, Lawson sat and watched Liles’ children take the stand and talk about the day Lawson broke into her Northside home and beat her to death with a golf club and a frying pan.
"How convenient that he doesn't have to look at what he did to a human being. He did not just kill my mom, he slaughtered her. He destroyed her," Liles’ daughter Michelle McFatter told the court.
As Liles’ children painfully told the horrific details, Lawson sat noticeably plugging his ears with his head down, shaking and almost shivering for roughly an hour.
Then, the family showed a video they produced of their mom and he continued looking at the floor, still shaking, knowing that he was going to prison for the rest of his life.
The family agreed to a plea deal where the death penalty was taken off the table.
“If we went to trial and Adam Lawson was sentenced to death, it would still not be close to justice because the state is never going to end his life the way he ended my mother’s. What he is being offered today is mercy," McFatter explained to the court.
Liles’ children are relieved the judge handed down two life sentences. They asked that Lawson spend a lot of it in solitary confinement.