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Texas girl, 17, gets 2 life terms in family deaths

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January 3, 2009 02:02 PM EST | AP


EMORY, Texas — A teenage girl charged with capital murder for her role in the deaths of her mother and two young brothers agreed to a plea deal that could make her eligible for parole when she's 59, her attorney said.

Erin Caffey, 17, accepted the agreement Friday, said defense attorney William McDowell. She had been scheduled to be tried as an adult next month in Hopkins County.

"I think it was a just sentence," McDowell said. "Everyone is pleased with it."

Authorities said Caffey, her boyfriend and two other co-defendants plotted to kill Caffey's parents because they didn't approve of her boyfriend. Caffey was 16 at the time of the crime.

Police reports said she and Bobbi Gale Johnson waited in a car down the road from Caffey's home in Alba while boyfriend Charlie James Wilkinson, 19, and Charles Allen Waid, 20, went on a shooting and stabbing rampage before setting fire to the house.

Penny Caffey, 37, and her sons Mathew, 13, and Tyler, 8, died in the attack in March. Terry Caffey, 41, was shot five times but escaped from the burning house, saying he recognized Wilkinson shooting him and his wife in their bed, sheriff's officials said.

Caffey has since recovered from his gunshot wounds.

All four defendants were initially charged with three counts of capital murder. Prosecutors had said they didn't plan to seek the death penalty against Erin Caffey.

Wilkinson and Waid also avoided the death penalty in November by pleading guilty for their involvement in the killings. McDowell said both would likely receive life sentences with parole.

Johnson, named as an accomplice who did not use a weapon, was sentenced to 40 years in prison and may be eligible for parole in 20 years, the Tyler Morning Telegraph reported Saturday.

Alba is about 60 miles northeast of Dallas.