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Newport News killer avoids death penalty, gets life in prison

NEWPORT NEWS (AP)  A Virginia man convicted of killing his wife and three stepchildren has been sentenced to life in prison.

Media outlets report a Newport News judge Wednesday sentenced 38-year-old John Moses Ragin to life on three counts of capital murder in the children’s deaths after a jury could not reach a unanimous decision.

Ragin also received a life sentence for arson, 40 years for a second-degree murder conviction in the death of his wife, Crystal Ragin, and five years on each of four unlawful stabbing counts.

The bodies of Crystal Ragin and her children, ages 6, 11 and 15, were found in their burned apartment in August 2011. Crystal Ragin was in the military and was assigned to Fort Eustis.

Ragin was arrested the day after the slayings in South Carolina.

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