The US Army private who admitted to killing the parents of a minor he believed was being sexually abused has been formally convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.
23-year-old Private Joshua Acosta shot Christopher Yost, 34, his wife, Jennifer Yost, 39, and their friend, Arthur “Billy” Boucher, 28 with a shotgun while they were sleeping in a Fullerton home in 2016.
The murders surrounded the alleged sexual abuse of then-17-year-old Katlynn Goodwill, who Acosta met in the “furry” community, an often sexualized community that involves dressing up as anthropomorphic animals.
Acosta shot Mrs. Yost between the eyes, killed Boucher with a shot to the head as he slept on a couch and finally shot Mr. Yost as he tried to flee the house.
According to Acosta’s attorney, Adam Vining, Acosta is autistic, overly trusting and naive, which led to him wanting to “save” Katlynn Goodwill.
Goodwill herself admitted to the court that stepfather Christopher Yost sexually molested her on a weekly basis from the age of seven to fifteen. In addition, she testified that fellow furry Frank Felix -who was also a co-defendant in the trial- “blackmailed” her into having sex with him by threatening to tell her mom about the abuse.
On the night of the slayings, Goodwill let Felix and Acosta come inside of her home, as they had planned to help her run away from the abuse. Goodwill claimed she planned on telling her mom about the molestation that night, and was waiting with Felix inside Acosta’s truck after the Soldier entered the residence.
According to the OC Register, the young girl had no idea her parents were dead until she was notified by police. Acosta backed this alibi up during his own confession, saying she never knew he planned on killing them.
Acosta referred to the Yost family as a “festering wound” that he had “cauterized,” referring to Boucher as “collateral damage.”
According to ABC7, Acosta was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Friday.
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