WAYNESBORO, GA. | Steven Murray pleaded guilty in court Wednesday to kidnapping, killing and throwing the body of Father Rene Robert, a St. Augustine priest, into the woods.

After his plea, the judge officially sentenced Murray to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The judge told him that if it hadn't been for Robert's declaration of life signed decades ago, Murray would have faced the death penalty.

Murray has been locked away in Georgia since his April 2016 arrest in connection to Robert's death. Police arrested Murray in South Carolina after a multi-state manhunt for him and Robert last year.

Murray told the Times-Union last year that the 71-year-old priest had been one of the only men good to him and he was sorry. He had abducted Robert in the father’s car, even locking him in the trunk, on his way to see family in South Carolina. He said he marched 71-year-old Robert into the woods in Burke County, Ga., and shot him because he feared going back to prison.

Read the full story on the Florida Times-Union.