Liverpool Justin Dallas, the 27-year-old Syracuse man accused of murdering two women in Liverpool last October, pleaded guilty on June 19 in County Court to two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and one count of second-degree assault.
Dallas was arrested on the shore of Onondaga Lake after a brief pursuit following the stabbing deaths of his estranged wife, Brandy Dallas, 24, and his former girlfriend, Samantha Rainwater, 30, on the morning of Oct. 28, at 915 Second St., in the village of Liverpool.
The assault charge was lodged because Dallas had allegedly pushed a third woman at the house down a flight of stairs.
A resident of 119 Radisson Court, in Syracuse, Dallas was indicted by an Onondaga County Grand Jury in January.
Defense attorney Thomas Ryan had planned to argue that his client’s actions had resulted from extreme emotional disturbance, but when the defendant appeared last week before County Court Judge Thomas J. Miller, he entered a guilty plea on all counts.
If they had gone to trial, Ryan told reporters, “there would have been a substantial risk of [him] receiving a sentence of life without parole.” Instead, Judge Miller agreed to sentence Dallas to 46 years in state prison. Dallas could be eligible for parole when he turns 73.
Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Cali thinks parole is unlikely for this defendant.
“These were two young moms who, in essence, were butchered for whatever reason,” Cali said after the guilty plea. “I don’t believe he’ll ever breathe free air again. I don’t believe he’ll ever get out of prison.”
Ryan maintained that the two slayings were not premeditated.
“He didn’t plan for this to happen,” he said of his client.
On Oct. 28 Dallas fled the scene in a stolen car, but was quickly apprehended by Liverpool Police Chief Don Morris and sheriff’s deputies Mike Quigley and Karen Munroe. After Dallas jumped into Onondaga Lake near the entrance to Onondaga Lake Park, the deputies and the chief pulled him from the water and arrested him.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 28.