BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4) – A Thornton man who stabbed and killed his wife earlier this year pleaded guilty in Adams County Court on Monday.

David Pineda, 60, pleaded guilty to second degree murder charges in the killing of his wife Isabelle. The couple had been married for almost 30 years.

Officials say the couple had some sort of fight in May right before David stabbed Isabelle multiple times.

Pineda was arrested on first degree murder charges but a prosecutor told CBS4 the decision to offer the plea deal was made in part to spare the children from having to testify against their father.

Those children and dozens of other family members showed up in court for Monday’s hearing.

The victim and suspect have three children — an adult son and two adult daughters, plus several grandchildren ranging in age from 4 months old to 12 years old.

Desiree, one of those daughters, said it has been hard knowing her mother won’t be around to watch her children grow up.

“It was life changing. It was really for real life changing,” she said. “Nobody knows what we feel, because we lost everything to us. We were with her every day.”

Isabelle’s employer Lisa Ruda also showed up for the hearing. She told CBS4 the victim was much more than just someone who worked for her.

“She was like another sister to me. Even her sisters I’ve known for years … it’s really family more than a work relationship,” Ruda said.

Pineda faces 30 to 48 years in prison, which means he could likely spend the rest of his life behind bars. He’s scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 19.

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