MANTI — More than five years after the murder of his parents, Mike Fullwood is done thinking about their killer.
Since Logan Welles McFarland will spend the rest of his life behind bars after being sentenced Wednesday, Fullwood said, it's an easy decision to keep him out of mind.
"It doesn't bring any relief from the memories or missing them, but … we are going to forget Mr. McFarland," Fullwood told reporters. "He is not going to occupy my mind, my conversations or anything of that nature. He is not going to take anything from this family ever again, and I am done with him. But I am still going to miss my parents."
McFarland, 29, pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of first-degree felony aggravated murder and was sentenced by 6th District Judge Marvin Bagley to two consecutive terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole. With the plea, McFarland avoids the prospect of the death penalty.
After being dropped off in a church parking lot near the home of Leroy Woody Fullwood and Dorothy Ann Fullwood late on Dec. 29, 2011, McFarland entered the home through an unlocked window. He first encountered Leroy Fullwood, then Dorothy Fullwood, and shot each of them several times, killing both.
McFarland's motive was robbery in order to get money to pay for drugs, Sanpete County Attorney Brody Keisel said Wednesday.
McFarland stole several guns, jewelry and other items from the Fullwood residence. He also stole several items of sentimental value, according to Keisel.
"Most important ... to the family ... was seeing those very personal, sacred intimate items, small to some people but with great value to them, were taken," he told reporters. Many of the items were returned.
Charging documents said McFarland admitted to a relative the next day that he had "dispatched lives" in a "mission" that had "gone south."
"The news was shocking to the entire community," Keisel said of the aftermath of the killings. "It was terrifying. people were concerned. (Today) is a great day for the community. It's a day that we feel justice has been served."
McFarland's girlfriend at the time, now-30-year-old Angela Hill, was one of two women to drop him off nearby on the night of the murders, according to prosecutors.
Aided by McFarland, Hill carjacked a vehicle in West Wendover a few days later. After the woman regained control of her car, Hill shot her in the head, but she survived. Following a high-speed police chase on Jan. 3, 2012, McFarland and Hill were arrested near Oasis, Nevada.
McFarland and Hill were convicted of the Nevada crimes in 2014. McFarland got a prison sentence of 56 years, while Hill was sentenced to 30 years behind bars.
McFarland was extradited to Utah in February 2015 to answer to the two murder charges. Hill was also extradited to Utah to face charges of aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, burglary and theft. She pleaded not guilty to all charges in September. Her next court hearing in the case is scheduled for March 8.
McFarland's charges of aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, burglary and theft were dismissed Wednesday in conjunction with his plea. The Fullwood family and prosecutors both said they were satisfied with the plea deal.
Mike Fullwood said he and his family would have been "in court over and over again" if he had gone to trial, been found guilty by a jury and sentenced to death.
"That closure and walking away would never actually happen. ... I'm very happy with the case (prosecutors) put together to get this plea agreement," he said.
McFarland declined to give a statement in court. Mike Fullwood said he was not surprised.
"It speaks to his character and also speaks to the actions that he did," he said. "It's exactly what I expected due to the elements of this crime and how it was committed."
As another part of McFarland's sentence, Bagley ordered that McFarland not be permitted to sell book or movie rights or otherwise derive profits related to his crime.
Contributing: Sam Penrod