A Florida man accepted a plea deal Friday that gave him three life sentences for the deaths, nine months apart, of his girlfriend and her two young children, whose bodies were found stuffed in a suitcase in a canal near Boca Raton.
Clem Beauchamp, 38, was scheduled to go on trial next week for the deaths of Felicia Brown in 2010 and 10-year-old Jermaine McNeil and 6-year-old Ju'Tyra Allen in February 2011.
The Sun Sentinel reports that several of the victims' relatives cried while telling Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Charles Burton about their tragic losses and the senseless deaths.
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Prosecutors say Beauchamp kept the children after their mother disappeared, telling school officials she had left them in his care. Brown's body was found in a trash-processing facility but wasn't identified until after the bodies of her children were found.
Beauchamp is a convicted felon and is serving a 10-year federal prison term for possessing an illegal handgun silencer. Court records show he also pleaded guilty in December 2014 to two unrelated drug crimes from 2010 and received a three-year prison sentence.
Federal prosecutors alleged that Beauchamp could have been motivated to kill Brown because she was a key witness against him in the gun case. The charge came about after Brown's car was repossessed from Beauchamp's home in 2009 and a tow-yard employee found a bag containing a .22-caliber revolver, homemade silencer and 12 rounds of ammunition. Brown told the employee the bag belonged to her boyfriend.