Darren Mack has entered a guilty plea in a Las Vegas courtroom this moring in the death of his ex-wife, Charla Mack, and an "Alford" plea in the shooting of a Reno Family Court Judge Chuck Weller.
An Alford plea is a plea in which the defendant admits there is enough evidence to find him guilty but is not outright admitting guilt. In this instance, it appears that Mack is disputing he intended to kill Judge Chuck Weller. An "Alford" plea is not treated any differently by the law than a guilty plea.
Sentencing has been set for Jan. 17 and 18 in Las Vegas. Mack will be returned to the Washoe County Jail to await sentencing.
"I understand right now in my state of mind that shooting at the judiciary is not the proper form of redress. I would also like to let you know ... it has been a privilege to watch due process in action. Its been a pleasure to have somebody who really takes their job seriously," Mack said to Las Vegas District Judge Douglas Herndon.
The surprise move came as defense lawyers Scott Freeman and David Chesnoff began presenting their case to jurors.
Mack, 46, was on trial for the June 12, 2006 stabbing death of his estranged wife, Charla, at Mack's townhouse in south Reno.
Authorities said after the killing, Mack drove to a downtown parking garage and shot Washoe Family Court Judge Chuck Weller through the third-floor window of the judge's chambers.
The judge survived and was in the Las Vegas courtroom this morning for the pleading.
Mack will serve at least a minimum of 20 years in prison.