A Sacramento, California father, who allegedly attempted to kill himself and his two sons by poisoning them with car exhaust fumes pleaded guilty on Monday, PEOPLE confirms.
Charles Lee Ewers, 39, will be sentenced to 22 years to life in state prison after pleading guilty to two counts of attempted murder, and also admitting to causing great bodily injury and using of a deadly weapon, according to a statement from the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.
Ewers is currently in Sacramento County Jail and is scheduled to be sentenced June 6.
His lawyer was unavailable for comment on Monday afternoon.
Authorities said they received a call on April 4, 2015 from Ewers’ estranged wife after her two sons didn’t return home from their visit with Ewers, according to the statement.
Deputies went to his home and heard the sound of a running car motor in the garage. The deputies forced entry and found yellow hoses attached from the exhaust pipe leading into a small opening through a window, according to the statement.
Inside the car, deputies found the two boys, ages 8 and 10, with “bloodied head and faces,” according to the statement.
Ewers was seated in the driver’s seat. A replica airsoft gun was by his side.
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Ewers later admitted to deputies that he had drugged the two boys with Ambien with the goal of using carbon monoxide poisoning to suffocate them. However, the boys didn’t fall asleep so he beat them multiple times in the head with a mallet, causing them serious injury, the statement says.
After the beating, he forced them inside his running car and told them that they were all “going to Heaven,” according to the statement.
Ewers told police he was “sad” that his plan wasn’t successful.
“I am in control,” he allegedly told deputies. “I am not in a rage. I am in control and I am sad that it didn’t work out. If I could try again, I would.”
Ewers said that he had planned the killings for several months and was just waiting for the “right time.”