DETROIT (WJBK) - A 4-year-old girl and her mother kidnapped, then murdered.
Now their killer is going to prison just a few weeks after making a deal with prosecutors.
But before learning his fate, Marcus Hightower had a few words for the victims' family and asked for forgiveness Wednesday.
"I hope someday you'll find it in your heart to forgive me," the 34-year-old said. "Amen."
Hightower took a plea of second degree murder and arson and is sentenced to 50 to 75 years for the murders of his girlfriend, 39-year-old Heidi Walker and her 4-year-old Daughter, Savannah Walker. Their bodies were found back in February in the basement of a burning, abandoned home on Detroit's east side.
Hightower admits to stabbing Heidi twice and suffocating Savannah. He says although he was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder, he should have been diagnosed years ago before being paroled for other crimes.
"With the right medication and treatment for my problems, these crimes may have been prevented," he said. "However I accept full responsibility for my crimes."
"There's a lot of people that have types of mental illness that don't commit acts like he did," said Holly Cauchi. "That's not an excuse to what he did."
Speaking on behalf of her sister and her niece Wednesday, Cauchi addressed a judge during the sentencing of Hightower.
"This has been really tragic for our family," she said. "And they didn't deserve it. No one deserves it."
Although Hightower apologized to Heidi and Savannah's family, they say they aren't ready to forgive and wishes that sentence was life in prison.
"I just don't think he should be let out of prison who knows," said Cauchi. "He'll be 85 when 50 years comes up - who knows if he'll even live that long."
"She needed to enjoy a pure and good life," said Brian Cauchi, a relative of the victims. "She got cheated out of it. Selfishly."