A killer convicted of murdering a pregnant woman and her two children is aiming to get out of prison earlier because he was a teenager when the crime happened.
Twenty-nine years later - the family of Priscilla, Abby and Billy are reliving the horror all over again. Husband and father Andy Gustafson, who died a few years ago from cancer, is the one who came home to the crime scene.
"Shaking and sobbing after seeing his wife shot in the head in their bed. Too afraid to look for his beloved Abby and Billy,” said Carol Gustafson, Andy’s second wife.
Daniel LaPlante has served 30 years but his attorneys are asking for a revised sentence that includes parole citing a 2013 SJC case that says teen killers cannot be sentenced to life without parole because their brains are not fully developed and they, in theory, can be rehabilitated.
“I do not have the words to fully express my profound sorrow. But I am truly sorry for the harm that I've caused,” LaPlante said at the hearing. “From The very essence of who I am, from the depths of my soul, I am sorry.”
Lawyers were in court Wednesday arguing both sides
His crime was a gruesome one; he’s convicted of raping and murdering Priscilla Gustafson was raped and murdered in Townsend in 1987. After raping Priscilla, who was pregnant at the time, LaPlante put a pillow over her face and shot her two times while her 5-year-old son was right there. He told the boy she was sleeping before drowning him in the bathtub -- and then did the same his 7-year-old sister, Abigail.
“There is no conscious in this man to guide him through right or wrong,” said Christine Morgan, Priscilla’s sister.
Family of the three people he killed say LaPlante has never shown remorse and is not even close to showing progress.
"Do not let this man out. He should rot in prison,” he said.
The decision on his sentence will not come until at least Thursday, with the judge saying she wanted to take a closer look at the SJC decision and any factors it may have in this case.
Cox Media Group