HILLSBORO, Mo. — A man imprisoned for killing six people in Illinois has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing an Arkansas couple in Missouri.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Nicholas Sheley was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty in Missouri.

Investigators say Sheley happened upon the couple at a hotel in Festus, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of St. Louis, during a drug- and alcohol-fueled rampage that began in his Illinois hometown.

Missouri prosecutors initially said they’d seek the death penalty. They later changed course without explanation in a decision that infuriated victims’ relatives. Many of them were in the courtroom Wednesday.

Sheley wept and begged them for forgiveness during Wednesday’s sentencing. He said what he did was “wrong on every level, unjustified, completely uncalled for. Cowardly acts.”

Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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