Possible plea deal in Thanksgiving massacre - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Possible plea deal in Thanksgiving massacre

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - The father of a little girl, who was murdered on Thanksgiving night 2009, says the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office is planning to offer a plea deal for Paul Michael Merhige.

He's the man whom, police say, murdered 6-year-old Makayla Sitton and three other family members that night.

Her father Jim Sitton, who is a WFLX photographer, says state attorney Michael McAuliffe wants to go ahead with the plea despite his and his wife's objections.

Merhige is charged with murdering two of his own sisters, his aunt, and Makayla, his young cousin.

Makayla, who would have turned 8 years old this December, was shot three times in her own bed.

Merhige was found in the Keys after a massive manhunt.

Jim Sitton says that under the terms of the plea, Merhige would be sentenced to seven consecutive life terms. "A life sentence is what Bernie Madoff got for fraud, a life sentence is reserved for crimes less than murder. For a multiple murder, a baby killer… a life sentence is not acceptable," Sitton said.

A spokeswoman for McAuliffe said it is premature to discuss a plea.

Sitton and his wife are asking McAuliffe to go forward with the prosecution of the case and seek the death penalty.

Sitton said when he found out that a plea hearing had been set for Thursday he requested that it be postponed because he did not have enough time to prepare for it.

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