A suspected triple murderer has now confessed to the crimes and changed his plea to guilty.
Joshua Packer was facing a possible death sentence if convicted of fatally stabbing Brock and Davina Husted and their unborn son Grant.
The Faria Beach murders happened at the Husted beachfront home and shocked neighbors in the gated community the night of May 20, 2009. The Husted’s other children survived.
Ventura County District Attorney Greg Totten accepted the plea agreement to avoid further delays. In addition to pleading guilty to three counts of first degree murder, Packer, 25, also pleaded guilty to oral copulation, residential robbery, residential burglary and special circumstances that made him eligible for the death penalty.
Packer’s lawyers wanted Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Frawley taken off the case because his children were once in a church group with Packer. They offered to make a deal months before a court ruling called for a hearing on the matter.
Husted’s brother, John Husted, watched the proceedings in court on Thursday. He said Packer had a cast on his right hand, possibly from a self-inflicted injury. Packer has been held in county jail for more than five years.
John Husted said he was relieved by the plea agreement. He said Packer deserves the death penalty, but he said the death penalty often involves years of appeals that would be hard on his family.
He was sorry his mother and step-father didn’t live to see this day in court.
Husted is now working on a victim impact statement that he will deliver during sentencing on February 6.
Packer will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole and without the ability to appeal.