Charles Kenneth McCovey convicted of murdering a pregnant West Valley woman during a robbery last April - should spend the rest of his life in the Utah State Prison.
That was the recommendation of 3rd District Judge Raymond Uno, who sentenced McCovey Monday afternoon.McCovey, 45, also known as Charles Kenneth Hodges, displayed no emotion during the hearing and declined to speak on his own behalf.
But defense attorney Andy Valdez told Uno, "Mr. McCovey is appreciative that the court allowed him to have a fair trial and he's ready to do his time. There's no one who can impose a penalty upon Mr. McCo-vey that is more severe than what he has imposed upon himself."
There were no requests for leniency or mercy, but the attorney did pass on McCo-vey's desire to be forgiven.
"What he's wanted is for the family to know he is very sorry for what has occurred," Valdez said. "His sorrow and repentance are genuine."
A 12-member jury found McCovey guilty last month of aggravated robbery and second-degree murder. He was originally charged with first-degree murder in the death of Anna Holmes, whom McCovey shot in the head while robbing a Kearns video store April 22, 1988.
Holmes died several hours later, shortly after doctors delivered her baby by Caesarean section.
On Monday, McCovey also pleaded guilty to robbing the Sconecutter, 5480 S. Redwood Road, four days before the homicide. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped a charge accusing him of robbing another business on April 12, 1988.
Ernie Jones, deputy Salt Lake County attorney, asked Uno to give McCovey the harshest possible sentence. Jones said the nature of the crimes warrant a stiff penalty.
"He took a loaded gun, cocked it and shot (Holmes) at point blank range. What makes it even more aggravating is the fact he killed her in front of her children."
The prosecutor said the tragedy also involved a yet-to-be-born infant named Michelle.
Jones told Uno the child, who was four weeks premature and deprived of oxygen for several hours following the shooting, will never be able to see, walk or crawl because of brain damage. The child will have to be fed by tubes the rest of her life and will likely be institutionalized at age 8.
"Her condition is a constant reminder to the Holmes family of what Mr. McCovey did."
The victim's husband, Michael Holmes, is also faced with staggering medical bills.
"It's appropriate that McCovey spend the rest of his life in prison," Jones said.
Uno sentenced McCovey to three consecutive 5-to-life prison sentences on the robbery and murder charges and added 10 more years under the firearms enhancement statute.
How long McCovey actually serves, however, is up to the Board of Pardons. But Uno said he will recommend that McCovey never be paroled.
"It is the court's opinion that the defendant does, did and may constitute a threat to the community," the judge said.