OKFUSKEE COUNTY, Okla. - An Okmulgee County man charged in one of the state's highest profile murder cases pleaded guilty Thursday.
Three years after the murder of Ashley Taylor and more than six years after the deaths of two young Weleetka girls Kevin Sweat has confessed.
"Three years, its been a lot of heartache, a lot of pain. It has been extremely tiring," said Michael Taylor, Ashley Taylor's father.
Sweat was charged with the 2008 murders of 13-year-old Taylor Placker and 11-year-old Skyla Whitaker. Their bodies were found on a rural Weleetka road after they were gunned down.
According to court documents , the alleged motive for the double murder of the Weleetka girls was revenge. Sweat blamed Placker's older brother for providing his own brother with the drugs he used to overdose.
Sweat was also charged with the murder of his fiancee, Ashley Taylor, whose charred remains were found on Sweat's father's property in 2011.
Many believe that Sweat murdered Taylor because she knew about the Weleetka girls.
Earlier this month, prosecutors announced the decision not to pursue the death penalty for Sweat, who was granted one trial for the separate murders. Sweat's attorney, Gretchen Mosley said one of the reasons he entered the guilty plea was to avoid a long court case, which would have begun Monday.
"Kevin's decision in part was based on sparing the victim's families anymore suffering. That is the reason he made the decision today to go ahead and end everything. So I hope that brings your family peace and the family of the other girls too," said Mosley.
Taylor's father talked about the relief of not having a trial.
"Kind of glad we aren't going to have to go through that long trial. That would have been really tough to sit there, day-in-day-out for six weeks plus and hear the same thing over and over again," he said.
The Taylor family talked about hearing Sweat's plea Thursday:
"It was pretty emotional to hear his plea but I'm glad we have this part behind us," said Faye Taylor, Ashley Taylor's step-mother.