YUBA CITY (CBS13) – The young Loomis man who brutally killed a Sutter husband and wife in 2010, shocking the small town west of Yuba City, pleaded guilty to the crimes Wednesday.
Joseph Simlick was scheduled to go to trial April 16 in the murders of Jack and Susan Martin but agreed to plead guilty to two counts of first-degree murder with premeditation in order to avoid the death penalty, Sutter County Assistant District Attorney Jana McClung said.
Simlick also waived his right to appeal, she said. He’ll be sentenced Jan. 18 to two consecutive life sentences.
McClung said the defense approached her office with a resolution to avoid trial and “the vast majority of the (Martin) family requested we accept this so they could move forward and have some closure, particularly the two daughters.”
Simlick was in a relationship with the victims’ youngest daughter Kendall that she ended. He went to the Martins’ Mulberry Street home on a July night in 2010, stabbed them to death and then set their house on fire. A bloody kitchen knife was found at the home.
He was arrested the following day in Loomis at a family residence and has been held in the Sutter County Jail without bail ever since.
Simlick and Kendall Martin went to Sutter High School together. She was not at home when he attacked her parents.