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Manti • With the sentencing of the man who killed his parents five years ago behind him, Michael Fullwood is ready to move on.
Never again will he think of his parent's killer, Logan Welles McFarland, Michael Fullwood said in court Wednesday. Their family will no longer speak his name.
McFarland took the lives of 70-year-old Leroy Fullwood and 69-year-old Dorothy Ann Fullwood, but he won't take anything more from their family, the son said.
"There are two types of people in this world," he told 6th District Judge Marvin Bagley during McFarland's sentencing hearing. "There's people like my parents, who are givers … And then there are takers. And Mr. McFarland took their lives and took something from this family."
McFarland, 29, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to two counts of aggravated murder, admitting that he killed the Mount Pleasant couple inside their home in December 2011. Burglary, robbery and theft charges were dismissed as part of a plea deal.
Immediately after McFarland entered those pleas, the judge sentenced him to spend the rest of his life behind bars, ordering him to serve two consecutive life-without-parole sentences at the Utah State Prison.
McFarland's guilty pleas spared him the possibility of the death penalty. But his attorneys said he also wanted to resolve the case to shield both the Fullwood family and his own from a difficult trial.
"It is Mr. McFarland's sincere hope," said defense attorney Douglas Terry, "that by entering into this plea agreement and taking responsibility for this conduct, it will allow the victim's family to have closure and to move on."
McFarland remained silent during the hearing. Defense attorney Ryan Stout said afterward that McFarland did not believe he is an eloquent speaker or could find the right words to express his regret.
Michael Fullwood said after the hearing that McFarland not giving a statement or apology to his family shows the defendant has "zero remorse." The family was in support of the plea deal, the son said, because it would limit the number of appeals McFarland could file in the future.
If the case had gone to trial and McFarland was sentenced to death, Michael Fullwood said the years of appeals would have delayed their closure.
"We would have been in court over and over again," he said. "And that closure and walking away never would have happened."
The night of Dec. 29, 2011, McFarland drove around Mount Pleasant looking for a home to burglarize.
McFarland apparently selected the Fullwood home at random and, late Dec. 29 or early Dec. 30, had friends drop him off on a road behind the residence, according to a search warrant affidavit.
Armed with a .22-caliber gun, McFarland entered the home through a window, according to Sanpete County Attorney Brody Keisel, and encountered LeRoy Fullwood. He shot and killed the man, Keisel said, and then fatally shot Dorothy Ann Fullwood.
McFarland then ransacked the home, taking credit cards, jewelry and other personal items from the couple.
The next morning, McFarland visited his brother at his trailer in Moroni where he told his brother he had "dispatched lives in Sanpete County" and that a "mission had gone south," the news release said.
McFarland also told his brother he was leaving the area and wanted to say goodbye. McFarland then fled to Nevada, where he went on a crime spree and was eventually arrested.
When asked by the judge what motivated McFarland to commit the murders, defense attorney Terry said McFarland's drug use had affected his judgment.
"He wanted to get things to get drugs," Terry said. "I don't believe it was his intention to do what ultimately happened. Certainly, his judgment was clouded not only from the drugs he was under the influence of, but the consuming desire to get more."
Keisel called McFarland's guilty pleas and sentencing a "victory for the people of Sanpete County."
"This was a great day for the community," he said. "Today, we feel like justice is served."
Although McFarland had long been the suspect in the double homicide, prosecutors did not file murder charges against him until May 2014, a day after McFarland had been sentenced to spend up to 56 years in a Nevada prison.
Keisel said in 2014 that he waited to file on the homicides until Nevada authorities had adjudicated their case against McFarland and his girlfriend, 28-year-old Angela Marie Hill, also known as Angela Marie Atwood.
Hill is charged in Utah with the same counts as McFarland, minus the homicide charges. She was extradited to Utah in May, and pleaded not guilty to charges in September. She is accused of burglarizing another Mount Pleasant home with McFarland in the same time period as the homicides.
Hill is set to appear in court in March for a pretrial conference.
On Dec. 31, 2011 the same day the Fullwoods were found dead in their home police say McFarland and Hill tried to carjack a woman's car outside a casino in West Wendover, Nev. The victim fought off Hill and sped away, but was shot and wounded in the head.
The couple stole two other vehicles and led police on a high speed chase in the days that followed. They were eventually captured while on foot in the Nevada desert after a rancher spotted them while checking on cattle from an airline.