SACRAMENTO (AP) — A 32-year-old Northern California man apologized for his “unforgivable” slayings of his three children as he was sentenced to life in prison.

The Sacramento Bee reports that Robert Hodges apologized Friday to his wife for destroying the life they had built together and suffocating infant Lucas Hodges, 9-year-old Julie Hodges and 11-year-old Kelvin Hodges. He also attacked his wife, Mai Hodges, in their West Sacramento apartment in September.

Yolo County Superior Court Judge David Rosenberg calls it the “darkest, most depraved case” he’s handled. He calls Hodges a “serial killer of his own children.”

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Hodges was sentenced to three life terms under a plea agreement that spared him the death penalty.

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Investigators previously said Hodges was in financial trouble and had considered killing himself and his family for a year.

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