A former Avon man admitted recently that he killed his wife, two kids and mother-in-law in their Winchester, MA home in 2010, according to the WHDH Massachusetts NBC television station.
Thomas Mortimer IV, 45, pleaded guilty to four counts of first-degree murder on Oct. 3, according to Winchester Patch in Massachusetts. 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.
He faces life in prison without parole, according to an Associated Press article on the Hartford Courant's website.
Mortimer had gotten into an argument with his wife before the June 2010 murder over a bounced $2,499 check he sent the IRS, according to The Boston Globe, citing a written confession police previously found in his Massachusetts home. Things escalated to the point where Mortimer "exploded into a homicidal rage," the Boston newspaper reported, and stabbed his wife, Laura Stone Mortimer, 41, 60 times, according to WDHD. Mortimer also stabbed his wife's mother, Ragna Ellen Stone, 64, and cut the throats of his kids, Charlotte Mortimer, 2, and Thomas “Finn” Mortimer V, 4, all detailed in his confession, according to Boston.com.
“The degree that they are missed is difficult to eloquently convey. My life, my family’s life, my children’s life have been so affected by this hurt. None of our lives will ever be the same,” Debra Stone Sochat, Stone Mortimer's sister, said in statement at her brother-in-law's Oct. 3 court appearance, WHDH reported.
According to Winchester Patch, Stone Sochat discovered the bodies of her mother, sister, niece and nephew on June 16, 2010. She testified three months later that she went to the home because she was concerned about the health of her mother, Winchester Patch reported.
Mortimer was indicted in August 2010 and has been seen numerous times in court for various issues dealing with the case, according to Winchester Patch.
Mortimer expressed remorse in his written confession about what he had done.
"What I have done is extremely selfish and cowardly," Mortimer wrote in the confession note, The Boston Globe reported. “I expecially [sic] sorry to Finn that he had to witness these horrid acts.... It was not supposed to be this way.”
Mortimer's parents, whose Avon home police searched after the murder to look for their son before ultimately finding him in Massachusetts, according to NBC Connecticut, were present at Mortimer's court hearing in Woburn. In a letter they wrote, which Defense Attorney Denise Regan read aloud in the courtroom, they said they missed their grandchildren, according to The Boston Globe.
“We know our son, Thomas, has done something horrible," The Boston Globe reported Mortimer's parents wrote in the letter. "We didn’t know he was so depressed."
In a legislative package proposed to address domestic violence in Massachusetts in 2011, a portion of a bill – named "An Act Providing for the Release of the Body of a Deceased Person to Family Members" – was drafted as a result of the Mortimer case. The legislation would block Mortimer and anyone charged with murder from "accessing a family victim’s estate for their legal defense fees," according to a press release from the Middlesex District Attorney's Office in Massachusetts.
Mortimer had tried to pay for his defense with money he and his wife had been saving for their children's college education, the release stated.