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July 2, 2005
A West Valley City man who murdered his wife and daughter in a test of will with God took a plea bargain today that spared him from the death penalty.
40-year-old Brian Christopher Sullivan pleaded guilty to two charges of aggravated murder – telling a judge he was taking responsibility for their gruesome murder.
Sullivan stabbed 33-year-old LaRae Marara Sullivan and their 4-year-old adopted daughter, Kehaulani, multiple times in the chest in 2003.
The woman’s distressed father said he was saving comments for Sullivan’s sentencing, which was set for Aug. 26.
A long-time friend – Marlene Smith – says Sullivan was suffering from a mental illness.
Sullivan told 3rd District Judge J. Dennis Frederick he was taking medication for depression and manic behavior.
Sullivan told a police officer, “the Lord had not stopped” him from stabbing his wife eight times and the young girl 23 times, according to testimony at a preliminary hearing in January. Both victims had defensive wounds on their hands.