‘Pure evil:’ Man convicted of killing wife pleads guilty to killing parents, niece
OMAHA, Neb. — A Nebraska man convicted of killing his wife has pleaded guilty to killing his parents and a niece and will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Douglas County District Court records say 46-year-old John Dalton Jr. entered the pleas Monday to three counts of first-degree murder and four weapons counts, but he offered no explanation for his actions.
Dalton was sentenced to three life terms plus up to 230 years in prison.
“They’re looking for answers — and they’re asking lots of questions — but sometimes there are none. It’s just pure evil,” chief deputy Douglas County attorney Brenda Beadle said.
Prosecutors say Dalton shot 70-year-old John Dalton Sr., 65-year-old Jean Dalton and 18-year-old Leonna Dalton-Phillip in Omaha last December . Police say his 6-year-old niece was also present, but she hid under a couch and was able to identify John Dalton Jr. as the shooter. He was captured in Jackson, Tennessee.
Dalton pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the 1998 shooting of his wife, Shannon Dalton. He was imprisoned for 11 years, and paroled in 2010.
All three of the couple’s daughters were home during the 1998 shooting. Dalton’s youngest daughter, Alicia Dalton, said Monday that the deaths of her grandparents and cousin were devastating.
“In a matter of seconds,” she said, “everything I had was lost.”