A 24-year-old Texas man was sentenced to 52 years in prison for reportedly beheading his wife in front of their young children.
Davie Dauzat, 24, of Bellmead, pleaded guilty to murder on Dec. 15 for the Aug. 25, 2016 beheading death of his wife, 21-year-old Natasha Dauzat, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald.
Davie agreed to a plea deal after his wife's family argued that the trial could reopen trauma for the children, who were 1 and 3 at the time of the murder.
"They didn't want to put the children through a trial and have them relive those memories," said McLennan County Assistant District Attorney Michael Jarrett, according to the New York Post.
Police had gone to the couple's home that day for a welfare check after Davie's brother reported that he had received strange phone calls from Davie.
Davie's brother "was concerned about ... Davie's well-being and wanted officers to locate and speak with Davie," police said, KWTX reports.
"There was no indication from Natasha or Davie that either of them was in distress or in need of police intervention at that time," said police, according to Oxygen. "They both appeared calm and expressed their curiosity why the police were there."
The man's brother later called police to say Davie had told him he killed his wife.
Police returned to the couple's trailer, where they found Davie with blood on his clothes. Davie had also reportedly put his wife's head in the freezer.
The children were not injured in the incident. Authorities took custody of the children and later put them in a relative's custody.
Natasha's autopsy revealed that she had died from at least 43 knife wounds and "sharp-force injuries, including decapitation."
Davie reportedly admitted to investigators that he killed his wife using a knife while the couple's 1-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter were home. He also admitted to using drugs before Natasha's death, but it wasn't clear which drugs he had taken aside from marijuana, which he had smoked that day with his wife.
"It is certainly a tragedy for everybody involved in the situation and I think it highlights the dangers that drugs play in our society," said Joseph Marcee, Davie's defense attorney. "I certainly think that factored into everything and I think it is a tragedy."
Marcee added that Davie "took responsibility for his actions."
Natasha's mother, Patricia Tagliarino, said that Davie deserved to die a slow, painful death, and added that she prayed each day for his death.
Davie must serve at least 26 years of his sentence before he will be able to seek parole.