ONSLOW COUNTY, North Carolina -- A man accused of killing his girlfriend and infant child and hiding their bodies in suitcases appeared in Onslow County Superior Court on Tuesday to plead guilty to the killings.
Sebastian Mendez, 28, took the plea in order to avoid the death penalty the DA was seeking in the case, WCTI reports.
Mendez pleaded guilty to a pair of first-degree murder counts, as well as solicitation to commit murder for attempting to have a witness to the case killed.
The bodies of 29-year-old Shuang Liu and 5-month-old Archer Zhi Liu were found by detectives in suitcases in separate locations outside of Jacksonville, NC, on July 13, 2015.
Autopsy reports show both the mother and child were strangled to death.
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In lieu of the death penalty, Mendez will serve the remainder of his life in prison with no opportunity for parole.