CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A man convicted of murdering his parents was sentenced to life in prison Thursday, the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office reported. 

Curtis Atkinson Jr., 43, was found guilty of the 2017 murder of Charlotte residents Ruby and Curtis Atkinson, kidnapping his 11-year-old niece and other related offenses. The trial, which began on July 31, ended with the jury’s guilty verdict, the DA said.

The co-defendant, Atkinson’s girlfriend Nikkia Cooper, previously pleaded guilty in connection with the crimes. 

Judge Eady-Williams sentenced Atkinson to two consecutive sentences of life in prison without the possibility for parole for the murder charges, and 404 to 532 months — the maximum allowable sentences — for the remaining charges. Those sentences will run consecutive to the life sentences. 

Court documents show that on March 30, 2017, Atkinson and Cooper, went to the home of Atkinson’s parents after being evicted from their own home earlier that day. After an argument between the parties, the defendant and Cooper killed the defendant’s parents.

The defendant and Cooper stayed in the house with the defendant’s niece until April 2, 2017, when they kidnapped her and fled to Washington, D.C. According to the prosecution team in May, they offered up the niece for ransom.

There, they were apprehended that night, and the niece was rescued by officers with the Metropolitan Police Department.