A man convicted of killing a husband and wife and their 7-year-old son will avoid the death penalty.
A panel of three judges decided Monday 38-year-old Jose Oliveira-Coutinho should be sentenced to life in prison for his role in the murders of three Omaha family members.
Oliveira-Coutinho was one of three Brazilian men charged with killing Vanderlei Szczepanik, his wife, Jacqueline, and their son, Christopher. Oliveira-Coutinho was convicted last year of three counts of first-degree murder and one count of theft.
The family was last seen in December 2009. Prosecutors have said Oliveira-Coutinho and two other Brazilians, Valdeir Goncalves-Santos and Elias Lourenco-Batista, beat Vanderlei Szczepanik to death and hanged his wife and son before throwing the bodies in the Missouri River.
The boy's body was recovered in 2011.