Thomas Mortimer IV pleaded guilty to four counts of first-degree murder today.
During a hearing this afternoon, Mortimer, 43, entered his plea in Middlesex Superior Court for the killing of his mother-in-law, Ragna Ellen Stone, 64; wife, Laura Stone Mortimer, 41; and children, Charlotte Mortimer, 2, and Thomas “Finn” Mortimer V, 4.
Mortimer stood before the judge to explain he understands his mental health evaluations and guilty plea prevent him from having a defense based on “diminished capacity," according to WBZ.
By entering the plea, Mortimer gave up his right to any appeals he could have had if he had gone to trial, according to Boston.com.
Mortimer said he would use the defense of not guilty by reason of insanity when his trial was most recently expected to start Tuesday, Oct. 11 after a one-week postponement.
Boston.com said if Mortimer was convicted of even one count of first-degree murder in trial, he would have received life in prison without parole, but he would have the right to have his trial automatically reviewed by the Supreme Judicial Court.Stay updated on breaking news in Winchester with Patch's daily newsletter.
Mortimer admitted to the murders at his Windsong Lane home in typed confessions he left for the police that were made public in September 2010. He wrote about a fight with his wife about a bounced $2,499 check he wrote to the IRS that led to a homicidal rage. Mortimer also wrote he believed his children were better off dead than to grow up in a divorced home.
The final four lines concerning his 4-year-old son were made avaliable two days later reading, "I especially sorry to Finn that he had to witness these horrid acts. It was not supposed to be this way. I disgust myself."
Mortimer's Defense Attorney Denise Regan tried to impound these lines.
Debra Stone Sochat, Mortimer's sister-in-law, discovered the bodies on June 16, 2010 when she testified three months later that she went to the home because she was concerned about the health of her mother.
Mortimer was indicted in August 2010 and has been seen numerous times in court for various issues dealing with the case.
Read more updates concerning the Thomas Mortimer case here.