Kevin Michael Hailey pleads guilty

By Ben Wolf - bio|email

CASS COUNTY, TX (KSLA) - "Seventeen years and 10 months," said Lanette Wallace.
And now, finally an Ark-La-Tex cold case is closed.
A family says they can start to live their lives again, after a man finally admits to strangling their loved one back in 1992.
Nearly twenty years ago, Gerri Faye Butts and her young daughters McKenzie and Jessica turned up dead in their Atlanta, Texas home.
This afternoon, Kevin Michael Hailey admitted to killing Gerri Faye.
Kevin Michael Hailey's guilty plea triggered nearly two decades worth of emotions inside a Cass county courtroom.
Gerri Faye Butts' family can sleep tonight knowing Hailey strangled Gerri back in 1992.
"Right now we're satisfied with this plea.  We're just going to go on with our lives and see how it goes," said Gerri's mother Lanette.
Hailey did not confess to killing and raping Gerri's daughter Jessica or killing her other daughter McKenzie.
"He's not man enough to admit it outwardly," said Wallace.
"Sometimes very heart wrenching decisions have to be made and I don't want to reveal any internal discussions that the prosecution team had, but we felt like this was the best way to proceed with it and the family supported it," added Cass county district attorney Clint Allen.
Prosecutors tell KSLA News 12 they believe Hailey confessed to the crime because they have better DNA technology than in 1992.
In fact, they say just last week new DNA results came in that sealed the confession.
Sonny Long covered the triple murder while writing for a Cass county newspaper.
Now, he's turning the 17 year cold case into a book.
"It not only brings closure to the family, but it gives my book an ending," said Long.

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