Life without parole for Washington state man who killed estranged wife, stepdaughter with ax

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state man who killed his estranged wife and his stepdaughter with an ax has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Charles Nettlebeck of Orting was earlier convicted of two counts of aggravated first-degree murder in the March 2009 deaths of 52-year-old Barbara Jo Nettlebeck and 33-year-old Bretta Joan Hawkins.

According to court documents, Barbara Nettlebeck was in the process of divorcing Charles Nettlebeck, but he went to her home to participate in a garage sale.

Prosecutors allege Barbara Nettlebeck said something to her estranged husband, and he picked up an ax and struck her with it. He then found Hawkins and killed her.

Prosecutors chose not to seek the death penalty because of Charles Nettlebeck's history of mental illness.