JACKSON, MO. -- A St. Louis man escaped the death penalty by pleading guilty to killing an elderly Perryville couple.
Samuel David Lowe admitted Friday that he stabbed Edgar "Eddie" O. Sauer, 84, and his wife, Leona M. Sauer, 83. In return for the guilty plea Lowe was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
Perry County prosecutor Thomas Hoeh had indicated he would seek the death penalty if the case went to trial, and Lowe was considered a prior and persistent offender.
Appearing before Circuit Judge John Grimm, Lowe, 39, said he had entered the Sauer home at 618 Main St., got in an argument with the Sauers and stabbed them.
The popular couple ran the Intersection Motel adjacent to their house. Lowe was in town to appear for a drug probation violation hearing, but court had been canceled.
Lowe, who was staying at the motel, was arrested shortly after the discovery of the bodies on April 7, 2000.
His case was transferred to Cape Girardeau County on a change of venue motion.
Lowe was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of armed criminal action, a class B felony of burglary and a class A felony of robbery. The armed criminal action, burglary and robbery charges were dropped.
Lowe was represented by public defenders Jeff Estes and David Kenyon.