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Judge Accepts Plea Deal For Man Who Killed Lea Porter

BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4) - The man accused of killing Lea Porter in 2014 entered a guilty plea deal in court on Friday morning. But the murder victim's family isn't happy about the agreement.

"I'm hoping he gets out very soon," said Porter's stepfather Michael Jackson told CBS4.

When asked why, Jackson replied, "So I can kill him. He's admitting to killing my baby girl so now I will kill him, it's just that simple."

Christopher Waide, 23, was charged with the murder of Porter, 19, after she went missing in June last year.

The plea deal was offered at Waide's arraignment Friday, and specified that if he pleaded guilty to second degree murder and child sex exploitation, all other charges against him would be dismissed.

lea porter
Lea Chali Porter (credit: Westminster Police Department)

The family of Porter wanted the judge to reject the plea deal, calling it a "surprise change of direction."

They were very emotional during Friday's court proceedings.

"I truly believe that she would not like this, what's happening. I think that she fought so that he couldn't do that to anybody again. So with this plea deal and obviously it's been accepted by the judge, he will probably be up for parole in 20-25 years. He will be younger than I am," said Porter's mother Rene Jackson.

Porter disappeared in June 2014 after visiting Waide at his apartment in Westminster. Despite a month-long search of a landfill, her body has never been found.

Waide entered his guilty plea to killing Porter just after 9 a.m. Friday and the judge accepted the deal. In exchange for his plea, he will be sentenced to 48 years in prison. That is the maximum sentence a judge can order for second-degree murder. According to Adams County District Attorney Dave Young, Waide will be eligible for parole after 75 percent of his sentence is served.

For the charge of child sex exploitation, Waide agreed to the maximum sentence of six years in prison which will be served concurrently with his second-degree murder sentence.

Young also confirmed that child pornography was found on Waide's computer.

Christopher Waide
Christopher Waide (credit: Westminster Police)

"It was the right thing to do," said Young, discussing his office's decision to offer Waide a plea deal.

He said attorneys weighed the risks of bringing this case to a jury, "Anytime you don't have a body in a homicide case, there are going to be issues."

Young expressed his sympathy for Lea Porter's family, "I'm sorry they had to go through what they had to go through today."

Young says the family, when initially approached with the idea of a plea deal, understood and supported it, but that over time, their opinion changed. He added that he does not blame the family for their frustration with his office and Friday's outcome.

Waide is scheduled to be sentenced for Porter's murder on Nov. 6.

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