PUEBLO, Colo. - A family struck by a tragedy in the small town of Rye says the healing process is just beginning.
Last Thursday, Harry Mapps, 60, pleaded guilty to killing three people in Rye on Nov. 27, 2013. Before a packed courtroom, Mapps admitted to killing Kim Tuttle, 55; Reginald Tuttle, 51; and Dawn Roderick, 33.
The Roderick family told KRDO NewsChannel 13 they're happy they will not see Mapps in a courtroom anymore.
"The legal part of it is done. The healing part is just now starting," said Thomas Roderick, Dawn Roderick's father-in-law.
Four months after Harry Mapps was caught, the victims' loved ones received reassurance last week that Mapps will never taste freedom again.
"I know the man who murdered my mom and my grandparents is going to be put away forever," said Logan Roderick, Dawn's 12-year-old son.
Many of the victims' family members wanted Mapps to be executed but didn't want Dawn Roderick's children to have to testify in court.
"Everybody would have liked to have seen the death penalty but under the circumstances, you're looking at 10 to 15 years possibly before he would ever be executed," said Thomas Roderick. "You're looking at a couple of million dollars worth of court costs and I would possibly be dead by that time. I wouldn't even see it."
Thomas Roderick said there was a possibility his grandchildren would have had to testify about Mapps' demeanor before the crime. It was a chance, he said, the family didn't want his grandchildren to face.
Harry Mapps' estranged wife, Sandy Mapps, told KRDO NewsChannel she's happy to hear that Mapps will not face the death penalty. She believes life in prison without the possibility of parole is a proper punishment.