NC man gets at least 59 years for killing married couple and their unborn baby

Left to right: Robert Jason Owens took a plea deal to avoid the death penalty in the murders of 38-year-old Cristie Schoen Codd, 45-year-old Joseph "J.T." Codd and their unborn daughter. (Images provided by WLOS)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – A North Carolina man will spend at least 59 years in prison for killing a married couple and their unborn daughter.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported that 37-year-old Robert Jason Owens took a plea deal to avoid the death penalty Thursday in the murders of 38-year-old Cristie Schoen Codd, 45-year-old Joseph “J.T.” Codd and their unborn daughter.

As part of the deal, Owens, 37, had to admit to the killings, which occurred in March 2015 in Buncombe County. Owens will now spend between 59 years to 74 years in prison.

The remains of the victims were found inside a wood stove at Owens’ home. Owens said he stored and destroyed the victims’ bodies after accidentally running them over with a pickup truck.

The victims both had ties to Hollywood. Cristie Codd was a contestant and finalist on “The Next Food Network Star” during its eighth season. She also appeared in movies including “Mona Lisa Smile” and “Get on Up” and was also a stunt double for Kate Bosworth.

Her husband also had a history in the TV and movie business, working behind the scenes. The couple had recently moved to Buncombe County from California, according to neighbor.

Owens was a contractor who had done handiwork in the past. Police said he had a criminal history dating back to 1999 when he got his first DWI.