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A man convicted of killing his husband and injuring his mother-in-law has accepted a prison term greater than the recommended maximum sentence.
Roel Ray Delua, 36, pleaded guilty to charges related to the murder of his husband, John Kilgore, according to a press release by the Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach. Delua was sentenced to 70 years in prison with 40 years suspended.
The sentence, agreed upon during a plea agreement, surpasses the Virginia State Sentencing Guidelines’ recommendation of 25 years.
“He wanted this,” said Delua’s public defender, Annette Miller, according to The Virginia Pilot. Miller said her client was “willing to take [the plea] immediately.”
Delua was convicted on charges of second-degree murder, wounding in the commission of a felony, malicious wounding, and hit and run-personal injury, according to the press release. Attorneys say Delua stabbed Kilgore to death shortly before hitting Kilgore’s mother with his car.
In 2018, John Kilgore told Delua that he wanted a divorce. The pair began divvying up their assets and put their home on the market, the release stated.
Kilgore visited the home on Jan. 28, 2019, when Delua attacked him.
“Kilgore went to the home to meet someone who came to buy a desk. His mother drove him to the home and waited outside,” the press release stated. “After the desk purchaser left, Delua stabbed Kilgore multiple times in the face, neck, chest, torso, abdomen, back, and hands.”
Attorneys say Delua left Kilgore in an upstairs bedroom before starting a fire on the kitchen stove and leaving the house.
Kilgore’s mother, Sharon Kilgore, became worried when her son didn’t return from the two-story home.
“I started calling my husband and said, ‘John’s not coming out, and I don’t know what to do,’” said Sharon, according to The Virginia Pilot.
Soon after alerting her husband, Sharon watched Delua exit the house and chose to avoid him.
“I ducked down because I didn’t want to see his face,” Sharon Kilgore continued. “I was petrified.”
“When she saw the flames in the house, she ran across the road toward the home,” it stated in the press release. “Delua, who was parked a short distance down the street, rapidly accelerated and struck her with his car.”
According to The Virginia Pilot, Sharon said, “He swerved the car to make sure he hit me.”
Once Sharon regained consciousness, she crawled to a neighbor’s house for help, according to the Commonwealth Attorney’s statement. The local fire department put out the fire and subsequently found John Kilgore’s body upstairs.
A count of arson was dropped as per the plea agreement, according to The Virginia Pilot.
At sentencing, Delua’s public defender claimed it was “totally a mental health case,” claiming that her client had been on medication since the tragedy, according to the pilot.
Authorities found Delua shortly after the murder in the bathroom of a local Wal-Mart, where he'd slashed his own neck and arms in an attempt to take his own life, according to the press release.
“He said he deserved the death penalty,” the release stated. “And would only tell detectives what happened if they promised him the death penalty.”
Delua admitted to authorities that he had borderline schizophrenia, PTSD, and “trouble remembering who he was,” according to Sgt. Pete Koepp, as cited in The Pilot.
Kilgore’s family was not present at sentencing.
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