WEST UNION, W.Va. – A Doddridge County teenager will soon leave juvenile custody and serve three life prison terms in state prison.
Doddridge County Circuit Judge Tim Sweeney sentenced Joseph Spencer, 17, of West Union, Monday following Spencer’s earlier guilty plea in connection with the Labor Day 2012 shooting deaths of his father, mother and sister.
Spencer pleaded guilty to three counts of first degree murder with mercy last month. Judge Sweeney went along with the plea agreement for sentencing that has two of the life prison terms running at the same time. Spencer will have a chance for parole in 30 years.
The judge ordered Spencer into the custody of the state Division of Corrections. He has been in juvenile custody since the shootings took place. Spencer will first be sent to the North Central Regional Jail until a bed frees up in prison.
Spencer took his father’s 9mm handgun and murdered Frederick Spencer III, 49, Dixie Spencer, 47, and his 9-year-old Patience Spencer.
The boy’s father was a UPS pilot; his mother, a science teacher at Ritchie County Middle School while Patience Spencer was a student at Doddridge County Elementary School.