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Woman, biological son plead no contest in slayings of his adoptive parents in Kansas

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WICHITA, Kansas — A California woman and her biological son pleaded no contest Friday to the slayings of his adoptive parents in Kansas in deals with prosecutors sparing them the death penalty.

Kisha Schaberg, 36, of San Diego entered the plea Friday morning to capital murder and two counts of aggravated robbery. Hours later, her now 20-year-old biological son, Anthony Bluml, pleaded no contest to capital murder in the November 2013 deaths of his adoptive parents, Roger and Melissa Bluml.

The couple, who had adopted Schaberg's two sons when they were young children, were shot in the head as they sat in a truck outside their home in rural Valley Center.

Melissa Bluml, 53, died at a Wichita hospital the day after she and her 48-year-old husband were found. Roger Bluml died about five weeks later.

The no contest plea means they are not disputing the allegations, and each faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole at their sentencing. Schaberg's sentencing is June 24 and Anthony Bluml's is June 16.

"Do I think this is a good thing? Yes. There's finality. This puts this to rest for the families. There's an acceptance of responsibility. And the penalty is as profound as anything we have under the law at this time," Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said after Schaberg's hearing.

Kansas has not carried out an execution since 1965.

Her defense attorney, Jeffrey Wicks, declined to comment Friday.

Also charged in connection with the killings are two of Anthony Bluml's former high school classmates, Andrew Ellington and Braden Smith.

Smith, who has reached a deal in exchange for his testimony, told the court during a preliminary hearing last year that Schaberg pulled the trigger. He testified the plan to kill the couple was hatched on the trip back from California to Kansas because Anthony Bluml believed he would get an inheritance.

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