SMYRNA, Del. — A Clayton man has pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and her mother, and has been sentenced to life without parole.

Media outlets report that 66-year-old Gilbert Rochester pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on Thursday.

On Dec. 13, 2015, Rochester waited outside the Smyrna home of his estranged wife, 56-year-old Mary Lane, and her mother, 80-year-old Louise Carrow. When the two came outside, he stabbed them to death.

Rochester said his plea was intended to avoid putting the victims’ families through trial. He said he took responsibility and regrets his actions.

As part of the plea deal, the state dropped other charges against Rochester, one count of murder in the first degree and two counts of possession of a deadly weapon while in the commission of a felony.