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Matthew Hoffman, Ohio Killer Who Hid Bodies in Tree, Pleads Guilty

Matthew Hoffman, Ohio Killer Who Hid Bodies in Tree, Pleads Guilty
Matthew Hoffman (AP Photo)

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio (CBS/WBNS) Matthew Hoffman pleaded guilty Thursday to killing three people in Ohio and to all the other charges against him.

PICTURES: Missing Ohio Family

Authorities said Hoffman killed and dismembered Tina Herrmann, 32, her son, Kody, 11, and a family friend, Stephanie Sprang, 41.

Some of the charges against Hoffman stemmed from the kidnapping and rape of Herrmann's teenage daughter.

A SWAT team found the 13-year-old girl bound and gagged in Hoffman's basement on Nov. 14.

He has been sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.

Hoffman, 30, faced a total of 10 counts, including aggravated murder, gross abuse of a corpse, burglary, kidnapping and rape.

Prosecutors said previously that they were not pursuing a death sentence at the wishes of the victims' families, CBS affiliate WBNS's Ashleigh Barry reported.

Thursday's plea was made in a courtroom packed with friends and family of Hoffman's victims. Among those in attendance was Herrmann's teenage daughter, who prosecutors said was kidnapped and raped by Hoffman.

An indictment stated that Hoffman killed the three while he was committing a burglary inside Herrmann's King Beach Drive home in Howard, Ohio. A preliminary report from Knox County Coroner Jennifer Ogle said that three died on Nov. 10 of multiple stab wounds to the chest and back.

Each victim was dismembered after being killed, the report said.

A SWAT team found Herriman's 13-year-old daughter bound and gagged in Hoffman's basement on Nov. 14. Four days later, his attorney led authorities to the bodies of his victims. They were found inside a hollow tree at the Kokosing Nature Preserve near Fredericktown in rural Knox County.

After the sentencing, the Hoffman family issued a statement that said, "Our whole family has been and is still praying for the victims' losses. Our hearts go out to them. We disagree with his actions, but we still love Matt as a member of our family."


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