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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A former Marine Corps sergeant has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the shooting death of his wife in 2014.

Local news sources report 36-year-old Christopher Michael Skaggs pleaded guilty to first-degree murder Tuesday in an Onslow County courtroom. Skaggs received a mandatory life sentence without parole. Had he gone to trial as scheduled next week, prosecutors could have sought the death penalty against him.

Deputies say Jordan Skaggs was shot at the couple’s home outside Richland in July 2014. In court, District Attorney Ernie Lee said Christopher Skaggs admitted firing 10 to 15 rounds at his wife when she was 10 yards or less from him. Lee said an autopsy showed she was shot 15 times.

The couple’s three children were inside the family’s home when the shooting occurred.