WOODLAND (CBS13/AP) – A West Sacramento man suspected of murdering his three children has pleaded guilty, the district attorney’s office says.

Robert Hodges was facing three counts of first-degree murder and another charge of attempting to murder his wife.

The murders happened back on Sept. 13. Hodges’ three children – 11-year-old Kelvin, 9-year-old Julie and 7-month-old Lucas – were found dead in a West Sacramento apartment near Jefferson Boulevard.

Detectives say two of the children were killed using a belt.

When his wife, Mai Hodges, returned home from work, he also tried to kill her, but she escaped.

Investigators had testified that Robert Hodges, 32, said he was in financial trouble and had considered killing himself and his family for a year before he acted.

Thursday, Hodges pleaded guilty to all of the crimes. He is now facing a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, the DA’s office says.

“Ultimately, the surviving family’s desire for a swift and certain conclusion to this heartbreaking case led us to the conclusion that this resolution was most appropriate. The defendant will die in prison,” the DA’s office wrote in a statement.

After pleading guilty to charges, Hodges acknowledged three special-circumstance allegations of lying in wait and committing multiple murders.

Police have said Mai Hodges did not witness the slayings. Relatives and neighbors said they saw no problems or abuse in the marriage. Police said they had no history of calls to the family’s apartment, and Robert Hodges had no significant criminal record.

Hodges will be formally sentenced on Jan. 19.

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(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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