FD:Lead> An Oregon judge accepted a guilty plea from double murderer Kevin Carl Lust Monday and sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole, Whitman County Prosecutor James H. Kaufman said.
Lust murdered ex-wife Teia L. Pingree in Pullman March 1, then drove to Portland, where he killed former girlfriend Bridgette S. Nelson the following day.
Lust agreed to an interstate plea bargain for the shotgun slayings that spares him the possibility of the death penalty in Oregon, where he faced an aggravated first-degree murder charge.
Whitman County Superior Judge Wallis Friel sentenced Lust last week to 28 years, 11 months in prison for the Pingree murder. Kaufman said Multnomah County Circuit Judge Ancer Haggerty handed down a life sentence for the Nelson killing Monday afternoon.
Kaufman said the plea bargain probably saved Washington taxpayers more than $50,000 in costs to put Lust on trial at Colfax.
It's not yet certain whether Lust will serve the entire prison term in Oregon.
''It appears for the foreseeable future, he's going to be in Oregon,'' Kaufman said. ''If he lived longer than the Washington sentence, he would go back to Oregon anyway.''
Kaufman said negotiations for the i
nterstate plea bargain began about three months ago, but talks didn't get serious until about mid-December. Lust was awaiting trial on the Oregon charge when the plea agreement was worked out between Lust and prosec
utors and public defenders in Whitman and Multnomah counties.
Members of the Pingree family verbally blasted Lust during his arraignment in Colfax last week. Kaufman said Nelson's relatives wer
e present for Lust's court appearance in Portland.
Pullman police found Pingree's body in the hallway of her Ritchie Street apartment after co-workers reported she hadn't shown up for work that day. Pingree, director of Pullman's Hermosa Child Care Center, had been shot four times.
After the Pullman slaying, Lust drove to Portland. Along the way, a state trooper stopped Lust for speeding and issued him a $95 ticket. The trooper noticed a ''wild look'' in Lust's eyes, but the officer had no reason to hold him.
Lust was arrested after he walked into
a Portland hotel, pul
led a shotgun from a flower box and fired four blasts at Nelson.
Lust had received treatme
nt for alcohol abuse in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley the weekend before the killings. He was reportedly under the influence of alcohol and Librium, a depressant, when he shot Pingree.
Lust, during a brief statement at the Colfax courtroom, apologized for the slaying and offered no excuses.