ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) - Monday the trial began for Gabe McDonald who shot and killed, Jana and Gregg McDonald, his adoptive parents back on March 2nd 2016.
Court Document show Gabe went into his adopted sister Grace's room prior to the shooting and told her he was going to kill their parents. Grace said she thought he was kidding until hearing two gun shots just moments later.
On Monday a jury determined Gabe was competent to stand trial, which prompted the defense to take the plea deal.
Tuesday, Gabe pled guilty to the murder of his parents but instead of being charged with capital murder, the plea deal gave him a lesser charge of murder.
Gabe agreed to 50 years in prison for each murder, which will be served concurrently and after 25 years he may be eligible for parole.
Gabe has been in prison since the night of the murder and to date has served 833 days, that time will come off his 50 year sentence.
McDonalds attorney Justin Low says this deal has been on the table for awhile but he didn't want to agree to the deal until Gabe was determined competent.
"You can't plead guilty to capital murder, there's only one sentence for that which is life so generally one can't plea guilty to capital murder unless its in exchange for avoiding the death penalty- there's no death penalty for a person of Gabe's age so there's no incentive at all to plea guilty to capital murder," said Low.
Low asked Gabe during the hearing, "Are you entering a plea of guilty because you are guilty? and not because you are being promised anything?" Gabe responded, "Yes."
Gabe waived his right to an appeal for these murder charges.
His sister, Grace McDonald's trial is set for September 10. Grace is facing charges of capital murder, criminal conspiracy and prohibited sexual conduct.
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