A document filed today (Tuesday) in Park County's District Court says Tanner B. Vanpelt and Stephen F. Hammer will change their pleas from not guilty and be sentenced on the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 3. The filing indicates a plea agreement has been reached between the 19-year-olds' attorneys and the Park County Attorney's Office.
Vanpelt and Hammer each face 11 felony charges -- including first-degree murder -- in connection with the March 2 murders of Ildiko Freitas and her parents, Janos and Hildegard Volgyesi. Hammer and Vanpelt have been held without bond since their arrests in Clark several hours after the murders. Police have said the two admitted to shooting the three family members, with Hammer allegedly acknowledging he shot Hildegard Volgyesi and Vanpelt having shot all three Clark residents.
No information was immediately available about what the plea agreements might entail, but the fact that there is a deal means the death penalty will not be sought. Anything up to life without the possibility of parole would remain a possibility.