MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. – A man who killed three people after being mistakenly released from prison pleaded guilty Friday to murdering two of them, a pregnant woman and her husband.
Patrick Selepak, 27, faces a mandatory life term in prison without parole for first-degree murder when sentenced Aug. 1. He previously received a life sentence for the third killing.
Selepak, of Chesterfield Township, admitted torturing and killing Scott and Melissa Berels, whose bodies were found Feb. 16 in their home. They had been bound in plastic wrap and duct tape and covered with a tarpaulin.
"He wants to get this over with," defense lawyer Mark J. Swanson said. "There's no reason to drag people into it. ... He really does have sympathy for (the victims' families)."
Selepak also murdered Winfield Johnson Jr., 53, who was killed Feb. 21 at his home in Genesee County's Vienna Township. Selepak and his girlfriend, Samantha Bachynski, were driving Johnson's truck, with his body inside, when they were arrested, authorities said.
Bachynski, 20, of Imlay City, has pleaded not guilty in the three killings. Selepak has not implicated her.
Berels family spokesman Randall Juip scoffed at the idea of Selepak having noble intentions in pleading guilty.
"If he really does feel sorry, if he is repentant, then he will stop defending Samantha Bachynski," Juip said.
Selepak was paroled from prison in June 2005, after serving nearly eight years for armed robbery and escaping from prison. He was arrested in November on parole violation charges, after a former girlfriend accused him of assaulting her, but was released from prison in January.
State corrections officials have acknowledged that he should still have been imprisoned at the time of the killings. Several parole workers were disciplined and state release rules tightened.