A 29-year-old man pleaded guilty Tuesday with using a shotgun to slaughter three people last year inside a Kansas City, Kan., house.
In exchange for his guilty plea to the single count of capital murder, Wyandotte County prosecutors agreed to not seek the death penalty for Jason R. Tucker.
Under Kansas law, Tucker can only be sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.
Vincent Rocha and Bernadette “Bernie” Gosserand, both 47, were killed along with Rocha’s 26-year-old son, Jeremy Rocha.
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They were killed last May inside their home 1900 block of South Boeke Street.
Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Tatum described them Tuesday as “three innocent, unsuspecting people.”
She said the shooting stemmed from a long-standing dispute between Tucker and Gosserand’s son, Bryan Balza, who also lived at the house.
On the day of the shooting, Tucker showed up at the house with a shotgun and confronted Balza on the front porch, she said.
He clubbed Balza with the weapon, then shot him in the back.
Tucker then went in the house and shot Jeremy Rocha first in the living room, Tatum said. He then went into the dining room and killed Gosserand. Finally, Tucker went into a back bedroom and shot Vincent Rocha.
Three children in the house were not harmed.
After Tucker left, Balza was able to go to a neighbor’s house and call for help. He survived the shooting.
Tucker was arrested later that day and police recovered shotgun ammunition and two shotguns, according to Tatum.
As part of Tuesday’s plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to dismiss charges of attempted capital murder, attempted burglary and violation of a protection order.
Sentencing for Tucker is scheduled for April 5.