A 48-year-old man, who told police he killed a man and a woman because they were spending all of their money on drugs, will avoid a possible death sentence after he pleaded guilty to two counts each of first-degree murder and armed robbery.
Mark Lauria accepted a plea agreement on Monday as jury selection in his murder trial was to begin. Had he been convicted, Lauria would have been eligible for capital punishment.
As part of the plea deal Lauria is to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the February 2007 deaths of Tara Robert, 41, and Saul Saenz, 54.
Sentencing is set for March 3 before District Judge Douglas Herndon.
Las Vegas police learned about the killings from Lauria’s sister, who called police after he threatened to go to Florida and kill his father and his other sister, according to the report.
Robert and Saenz were found Feb. 24 beaten to death in an apartment at the Sportman’s Royal Manor, 5600 Boulder Highway.
Lauria told police that he beat the two to death with a three-foot-long galvanized pipe.
According to court documents, Lauria told police he had been smoking rock cocaine prior to the murders.
Lauria had a lengthy criminal history in Michigan, including convictions for larceny and arson.