At least this monster will never see the outside world again.
Robert Jason Owens plead guilty to the murders of Cristie Schoen Todd, her husband, JT Todd, and their unborn child, Skylar, on Thursday, bringing an end to the case of what local authorities called “the most disturbing killings in Buncombe County history.”
As part of a plea deal to avoid the death penalty, Owens has admitted to the killings and disposal of the bodies.
In case you never heard about it, or were somehow able to push the grisly images out of your brain, here’s a recap of the 2015 crime:
Cristie was a film caterer and sometime actress/stuntwoman who was probably best known in front of the camera as a contestant on Food Network Star in 2012. JT also worked behind the scenes as a grip.
Owens was their handyman who had worked with them for years; he had even attended their wedding.
We still don’t know Owens’ motive for the killings; he previously said he had accidentally run the couple over as they tried to help him move his truck. Of course, if that were true, why would he dispose of the bodies?
After their deaths, Owens cut the Todds’ bodies into small pieces; authorities caught him in the middle of incinerating them piece by piece in his wood stove.
District Attorney Todd Williams laments:
“Because there are no surviving witnesses and Jason Owens had exclusive control of the crime scene for several days, and he had nearly completed the gruesome project of cremating his victims’ remains, we will never know many of the facts surrounding the Codds’ deaths.”
As part of his bargain, Owens not only admitted to murdering the couple but also addressed the victims’ families directly in court, saying:
“I want you to know that I am sincerely sorry for the loss of your loved ones and the pain and suffering it’s caused you.”
Owens is facing from 59.5 to 74.5 years in prison, which as D.A. Williams puts it, is “tantamount to a sentence of death in prison.”
We hope this gives the Codds’ families some closure — but we can’t imagine anything ever will.