A Payette man who deliberately killed two pedestrians in Fruitland in January of 2018 pleaded guilty on Tuesday morning to two counts of murder in the second degree.

Jason Lee Verwer was accused of deliberately driving his vehicle into a pair of pedestrians in Fruitland on Jan. 24, 2018, killing both of them at the scene.

Verwer originally pleaded not guilty to the charges during a hearing on April 20, 2018.

During a hearing on April 10, Verwer’s attorney, Kelly Whiting, informed Judge Susan Wiebe that a plea agreement had been reached, but the parties needed more time to complete the appropriate document. That same day, Payette County Prosecutor Ross Pittman informed the press that the agreement would include the defendant pleading guilty to two counts of second-degree murder.

But at the case’s next hearing on April 18, the agreement was not put in place. Court minutes from that hearing claim that Whiting said the plea agreement did not work out and requested the case be set for trial.

Verwer was reportedly 37 at the time of Jan. 24, 2018, vehicle collision with pedestrians.

The victims were a newly married husband and wife, Matthew and Amelia Parkinson, ages 22 and 17.

Verwer’s sentencing has been set for 9 a.m. Jan. 28.

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