FORT WORTH (CN) - A Texas supporter of "open carry" gun groups will spend the rest of her life in state prison without parole for shooting her husband and stepdaughter to death.
Veronica Dunnachie, 36, of Arlington, pleaded guilty on Feb. 5 to one count of capital murder of multiple persons. She admitted she killed Russ Dunnachie, 50, and Kimberly Dunnachie, 20, in December 2014 at their south Arlington home.
She was sentenced to life without parole on Feb. 12 by Tarrant County Judge Mollee Westfall.
Dunnachie's attorney Terri Moore told Judge Westfall she believes her client's easy access to guns played a role in the murders, as did her pending divorce.
"Everyone has a breaking point," Moore told the judge.
Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Kelly Loftis said Dunnachie "hunted down two unarmed family members."
"This heartless act has shattered the lives of all their relatives," she told the judge.
A Facebook profile that appeared to belong to Donnachie showed her holding a rifle at a shooting range. It included several photographs of Donnachie with firearms at rallies organized by Open Carry Texas and Open Carry Tarrant County.
The groups' members have been criticized for entering stores with rifles and frightening customers. Some companies, including Target and Chipotle, have responded by asking customers not to bring guns into their businesses.
Open Carry Tarrant County raised alarm last year when they confronted a state representative in his office in the Texas Capitol, denouncing him as a "tyrant of the Constitution."
Lawmakers responded by quickly approving House Rule No. 3 to allow the use of panic buttons in their offices.
Dunnachie, dressed in a green jail uniform, frowned while listening to an impact statement from Heather, the victims' sister and aunt.
"We have lost a dear friend, a brother who would have done anything for us," she said, "a big brother and a little girl who would brighten our darkest days. ... We have so much anger and grief because of what has been taken away from us. For many of us sleep does not come easy anymore."
Heather said her family is glad prosecutors did not seek the death penalty and that they want Dunnachie to find salvation through God.
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