Perry County man sentenced to life for triple murder

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PERRY COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - A man who admitted to killing three people, including a 12-year-old, outside an eastern Kentucky college will spend the rest of his life in prison.

A Perry County judge sentenced Dalton Stidham, 22, on Thursday for the deadly shooting that happened in the parking lot of the Hazard Community and Technical College in January 2013.

Emotions ran high in the courtroom when family members of the victims addressed Stidham during the hearing.

Sentenced to serve three life-sentences consecutively without the possibility of parole, Stidham will never get out of prison.

Jackie Cornett, 53, Caitlin Cornett, 20, and Taylor Cornett, 12, were all killed in the shooting, and it's a crime Stidham admitted to in court.

On Thursday, Missy Cornett, the wife, mother, and aunt of the victims, spoke openly to Stidham when he was sentenced.

“I’m still angry! You took everything from me...they did nothing to you. My child! My child!" exclaimed Missy Cornett, Taylor's mother.

The Perry County Commonwealth's Attorney initially filed a motion to seek the death penalty for Stidham but later changed the offer, suggesting that Stidham serve three consecutive life sentences.

Stidham accepted the plea deal and on Thursday, was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

“15 to 20 years of this right here is not going to do anyone a favor. The state of Kentucky doesn't really follow through with the death penalty so he's just going to be sitting in a cell getting fat,” Cornett told us after the sentencing.

Although the Cornett family may never know why Stidham pulled the trigger that day, they will have some finality in knowing that the man who took three innocent lives will never again walk free.

Stidham stood silent while the victims' families made statements and when the judge sentenced him.

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