A Texas man was sentenced to 52 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to beheading his wife in front of her children, Fox News reported.
David Dauzat, 24, agreed to a plea deal after his wife’s family requested it to avoid a trial they feared would re-traumatize the children who witnessed the 2016 murder.
“They didn’t want to put the children through a trial and have them relive those memories,” said McLennan County Assistant District Attorney Michael Jarrett to KWTX.
Police visited the Bellmead mobile home of David Dauzat and wife Natasha Dauzat, 21, in August 2016 after a relative asked law enforcement to make a welfare check because he had received strange phone calls from David. But the couple did not show any sign of the violence to come, police said.
“There was no indication from Natasha or Davie that either of them was in distress or in need of police intervention at that time. They both appeared calm and expressed their curiosity why the police were there,” police said, according to KWTX.
Two hours later, however, the relative called police again saying that he had gotten a call from Dauzat in which he admitted to killing his girlfriend, according to KWTX.
Police returned to the trailer and found Dauzat with blood on his clothes. Dauzat had apparently stabbed and beheaded his wife, putting her head in a freezer. Her daughter and son, both toddlers, were in the mobile home at the time.
Dauzat said he took drugs before killing his wife, according to The New York Daily News, though an affidavit only claimed that he and his wife had smoked marijuana earlier that day.
Authorities said Natasha Dauzat died from “sharp-force injuries, including decapitation.”
Dauzat will not be eligible for parole until he has served at least 26 years in prison.
In a victim impact statement, Natasha’s mother said that David deserved to die a slow, painful death, and that she prayed every day for that to come to pass, according to the Daily News.