Robert Hodges faced his wife in a Woodland courtroom Friday morning and apologized for “destroying the life we built together and taking the lives of our children.”

The West Sacramento man’s admission that he killed the couple’s three children and his apology did not spare him from being sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole by Yolo Superior Court Judge David Rosenberg.

“God may forgive you, but this court does not,” Rosenberg said.

Hodges was a “serial killer of his own children,” Rosenberg said, calling it the “darkest, most depraved case I’ve ever handled.”

Hodges himself called his crimes “unforgivable.”

“I’ll spend the rest of my life begging (Mai) Sheng, Kelvin, Julie, Lucas and God for forgiveness,” he said. “I love you all and I’m sorry I failed you. That is all.”

Hodges, 32, pleaded guilty last month to killing Kelvin, 11, Julie, 9, and Lucas, 7 months, and attempting to murder his wife, Mai Sheng Vang, in their West Sacramento apartment on Sept. 13, in the worst mass slaying in decades in Yolo County.

“He’ll die in prison. That’s where he should die. He’ll never get out. It’s done today,” Yolo County District Attorney and Hodges’ prosecutor Jeff Reisig told reporters outside Yolo County Courthouse in Woodland following the hourlong morning hearing.

Hodges’ plea last month to life without parole had been negotiated for weeks.

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