A man accused of killing his longtime girlfriend last year will now spend the rest of his life in prison.
Robert Tillotson admitted Friday morning to shooting his girlfriend two times in front of her three young sons.
The most surprising part of the hearing was when Tillotson took the stand and told the family he wished they would have chosen the death penalty and that he doesn't deserve their forgiveness.
The family said they didn't want to condemn him to death because they could never live with that on their shoulders.
It was an emotional day in court Friday, as friends and family of Beverly Stratton listened to Tillotson's confession.
Stratton's mother, Pamela Adams, said they could have asked for the death penalty but they agreed to the plea deal that sends Tillotson to prison for life without the possibility of parole.
“I'm not the one to make that decision. I put it in God's hands, because that was the best deal. I didn't want to bear that, that I took a life, I couldn't do that," she said.
In court the judge recapped the crime, describing how in October, 2014, Tillotson shot his longtime girlfriend in front of her three sons then pointed the gun at them before he turned it on himself.
Tillotson suffered injuries from the gunshot but survived.
Adams read an emotional two-page letter at the hearing asking Tillotson "why?"
The court erupted in tears as she looked Tillotson in the eyes and said, "She was by your side when no one else was, she gave you a son. You gave her two bullets."
After the hearing, Adams said she's not holding a grudge and that she won't be eaten up with hate.
"He's got forgiveness," she said.
Adams and her family said they're holding on to their memories and sharing Beverly's story with others by wearing t-shirts dedicated to domestic violence awareness.
"I just don't want another woman to be Beverly, I just don't want another Beverly," Adams said.
Family said Tillotson has a long history of domestic abuse and that just months before she was killed Stratton resolved she wasn't going to take it anymore.
That's hard to swallow for Adams, but said she is moving on one day at a time.
“It's just a day-by-day process, it's just step-by-step. It's a struggle some days, some days are easier, but with time we will get through this," she said.
Adams said her goal now is to focus on raising her daughter's sons and helping them move on.