A Paso Robles man pleaded guilty to two counts of murder in court on Wednesday.
Daniel Raul Rodriguez Johnson, 34, admitted to the killing of girlfriend Carrington Jane Broussard and her full-term unborn baby.
He pleaded guilty to a first-degree murder charge in the death of Broussard, 34, and a second-degree murder charge in the death of the unborn child. The plea requires a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's deputies found the body of Broussard on the morning of March 3, 2019.
In the early morning hours, Johnson had been arrested after he stole a CHP vehicle and was fleeing from Hwy 46 near Templeton to an area north of San Simeon on Hwy 101.
After Johnson's arrest, deputies went to his rural Paso Robles home to conduct a welfare check, where they found Broussard's body. She was identified as his full-term pregnant girlfriend. Investigators say she had been stabbed to death.
San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow said Johnson has has taken personal responsibility for the crimes, which Dow described as "unimaginably horrific."
"Life in prison without the possibility without the possibility of parole is an appropriate sentence given that he took two innocent lives," Dow said.
He said that the sentence ensures Johnson will not pose a danger to the community in the future.
The District Attorney's Office says that the facts of the case and the defendant's background were considered in the decision to seek life in prison without the possibility of parole, rather than the death penalty. Also, surviving family members and involved law enforcement agencies were consulted in the decision.
Johnson's sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 19, 2022. It will happen in Department 5 of the San Luis Obispo County Superior Court. The Honorable Craig van Rooyen is set to preside.
CHP officers and the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office investigated the case with the assistance of the District Attorney's Bureau of Investigation.
Deputy District Attorneys Megan Baltierra and Michael Frye prosecuted the case.