A Kansas man pleaded guilty to murdering his 7-year-old son and feeding him to pigs.
Michael A. Jones, 46, now faces a life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years, according to The Kansas City Star.
He had been charged with one count of first-degree murder after authorities found the remains of 7-year-old Adrian Jones in November 2015 on a Kansas City property rented by Michael and his wife, Heather, who was the boy's stepmother.
Adrian's maternal grandmother, Judy Conway, said she was "relieved" to learn of the guilty plea.
"It makes me pretty happy," she said. "I'm relieved that he and Heather will hopefully be behind bars for the rest of their life. It won’t bring Adrian back, of course, but it makes me feel really good that neither one can hurt another child again."
Heather, 30, had pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and child abuse in October 2016. She was sentenced the following month to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years.
Court documents indicate Adrian was killed in September or October 2015. In November of that year, police responded to a domestic disturbance call at the Jones residence. Michael was then arrested and charged with aggravated battery and aggravated assault.
While investigating the incident, police discovered that Adrian had been missing for several months. After obtaining a search warrant, they found the boy's remains in a barn.
After Heather's sentencing, Chief Deputy District Attorney Sheryl Lidtke described the crime as the most heinous she had seen in her 27-year career as a prosecutor.
"He was horribly abused, neglected and ultimately killed. I’m sure his suffering was unbearable," she said, adding that Adrian "essentially starved to death."
When she spoke in court, Heather cried and said she was "deeply sorry" for what she did.
"I have to live with this for the rest of my life," she said, reports The Kansas City Star.
She described her relationship with Michael as abusive and said she felt trapped.
"I didn’t have anyone to call," she said. "I didn’t have any family to help me."
But Adrian's grandmother was unmoved by Heather's tearful apology.
When asked what she would say to her grandson's killer, Conway responded: "How could you do such horrible, horrific things to a child?"
Conway explained that Adrian and his siblings were home-schooled, which in her view enabled the abuse to contiuunchecked. She added that when Michael won custody of the children following his divorce from Conway's daughter, she was unable to visit them.
"This could have been prevented," she said. "If I would have been able to see them, I would have known what was happening."
Michael Jones is scheduled to be sentenced on May 3.