STAFFORD, VA., AUG. 1 -- Leroy Bullock avoided a possible death sentence by pleading guilty today to two murders in Stafford County and agreeing to tell authorities about his involvement in slayings in Arkansas and Tennessee.
Bullock, 46, of Walls, Miss., was sentenced in Stafford County Circuit Court to four life terms plus 66 years on 14 felony counts, including two capital murder charges.
"This is the first step in a multi-jurisdictional arrangement that will spare him the death penalty in all jurisdictions," said Phillip Sasser, Bullock's court-appointed attorney.
The Stafford County charges stemmed from a Dec. 19, 1989, robbery and shooting at the home of Harvey and Veronica Pettit. Bullock is accused of slaying Veronica Pettit, 72, and her housekeeper, Velma Rexrode, wounding Harvey Pettit and abducting the Pettits' daughter-in-law, Deborah Pettit.
The Pettits and Rexrode, 72, were shot with a .22-caliber handgun. Bullock forced Deborah Pettit into the trunk of a car. She escaped from the trunk and called police from her nearby house.
Harvey Pettit, 81, said today he was satisfied with Bullock's sentence.
"This brought it to a conclusion I can live with," he said.
Pettit was asked if he would have preferred to see Bullock sent to the electric chair.
"That's not going to bring the lost ones back," he said.
Bullock faces two murder charges in Jonesboro, Ark., and has been sought for questioning about slayings in Paragould, Ark., and Memphis. Sasser said Bullock gave statements about those cases on Saturday to Arkansas and Tennessee authorities. Neither Sasser nor Commonwealth's Attorney Daniel Chichester would say what was included in the statements.
Sasser said Bullock will be taken to Jonesboro within three weeks.
Chichester said he agreed to spare Bullock the death penalty because it would have been difficult to prove Bullock posed a continuing threat to society.
"Our objective was to get him off the streets for the rest of his life, and we did that," Chichester said.
Judge James W. Haley Jr. ordered that Bullock serve his sentences in Virginia, as well as any he receives in the other two states, consecutively.