Man gets life in prison after pleading guilty in deaths of 3

SPARTANBURG — A Cowpens man who pleaded guilty in the 2010 deaths of three people was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

The Herald-Journal of Spartanburg reports ( 48-year-old Cass Franklin Smith was sentenced Thursday. He pleaded guilty to three counts of murder and escape Monday.

Smith was charged with killing his ex-girlfriend, 41-year-old Suzanne Bridges, her boyfriend, 45-year-old Harold Lick and her daughter 15-year-old Maggie Wenner.

Authorities say two of Bridges’ children found the bodies. Smith was arrested days later.

In 2010, the state notified Smith that it would seek the death penalty. Smith then offered to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Prosecutor’s spokesman Murray Glenn says prosecutors recently decided to accept Smith’s guilty plea instead of taking the case to trial.