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KRIS KEEPS VOW TO EMPLOYEE

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Entertainer Kris Kristofferson and his wife, honoring a promise to their slain housekeeper, have become guardians of the woman's three daughters.

The Malibu couple's request was granted Tuesday by Superior Court Judge David Rothman in Santa Monica after several days of closed hearings to decide custody of Maria Juana Aguilar's children.Kristofferson and his wife, Lisa, said they wanted to keep a promise they made to her a week before her death: to see that her children were taken care of should anything happen to her.

Rothman granted co-guardianship to the woman's sister, Vicenta Aguilar, with whom the children will live in Culver City. He refused a guardianship request from the family of Ricardo Arauz, who pleaded guilty in March to murder in the shooting death of his common-law wife, Maria Aguilar.

Shortly before she died, Aguilar confided in Mrs. Kristofferson that she feared for her life because of her husband's beatings. A week later, she was shot three times and killed.