2011 double murder suspect accepts plea deal: "Are y'all going t - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

2011 double murder suspect accepts plea deal: "Are y'all going to kill me?"

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Dane Register (Photo source: GBI) Dane Register (Photo source: GBI)
CHATTAHOOCHEE COUNTY, GA (WTVM) -
In an unexpected twist, a Georgia man accused of killing a Chattahoochee County couple pleaded guilty Monday morning.

Dane Register, 34, had maintained his innocence since the August 2011 killings of Edward and Elaine Baker, but accepted a plea deal right before his trial was set to begin.

Register was sentenced to life in prison, plus five years with the possibility of parole in 30 years. 

Register admitted to strangling Edward Baker then stabbing and choking his wife; he then set the couple's home on fire, according to investigators.

Their oldest of two daughters testified about the night she along with her five-year-old son tried to save her parents from the inferno.

Christina Baker said her father built their Firetower Rd home "with his own hands."

"My parents died in this fire but my sister and I died too. We are victims just as if we had been inside. I don't know how you can take that away, the fact that you couldn't save them. I couldn't save them," Christina Baker cried.

Christina said her family was haunted by nightmares and anxiety.

The couple's remains were burned beyond recognition, according to police. 
     
The pair had just celebrated their 49th anniversary that June, Christina Baker informed the courts.

GBI investigators linked Register to the crime by DNA evidence. 

Register's attorney Stacey Jackson said there was a T-shirt left on the property that had both victim's blood and Register's DNA on it. 

"We're satisfied that he got a life sentence. Obviously what he did is a terrible thing and nothing is going to bring the Baker's back. But, we're happy to know he's going to spend the rest of his life in prison," Assistant District Attorney Brad Bickerstaff said following the hearing. 

Register's father raised his hand several times during the hearing, asking to address the courts. 

Danny Register declared his son was being framed and accused the victim's family of fraud.

Register had nothing to say to the victim's family, only a few words of encouragement to his own family.

"I want to tell my dad and my nephew I'm going to be alright in prison and I just thank y'all for coming out. I love y'all. Y'all take care of my mama and y'all take care of everybody in the family," Dane Register uttered. 

Before accepting the plea deal, Register asked a Sheriff's deputy if they were going to kill him. 
     
Register had two psychiatric evaluations, he was found competent to stand trial. The Baker family has since rebuilt the home Register burned to the ground. 

Register will be 64 years old when he is eligible for parole.

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Man faces murder, arson charges in elderly couple's death

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