One year and 11 days after a murder at a popular south Charlotte restaurant, the man who admitted to the crime is on his way to prison for life.
On Jan. 13, 2012, 25-year-old Danielle Watson, who was eight weeks pregnant, was closing up the Flying Biscuit restaurant she managed at the Stonecrest shopping center when a young man she supervised attacked her, stabbing her after the two had a heated argument.
Mark Cox pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of murder, including one count of the murder of Watson's unborn child, and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
He also pleaded guilty to robbery and larceny for stealing $2,600 from the register and safe at the restaurant and taking Watson's car.
The prosecutor said Cox had confessed to the murders after police arrested him several days later.
Cox did not say anything during the hearing, which lasted about half an hour, but Watson's fiancée and mother did.
"Memories are all I have left," Keith Smith told Cox during the hearing.
"There may be a time when I can forgive you," Smith went on, "but I promise you this, Mark -- it won't be in your lifetime."
Denise Watson called her daughter's killer an "evil monster" and after the hearing, she told reporters she was glad to be able to tell him what he has put her family through.
"I would have liked to look in his eyes but that doesn't matter. I mean, justice was served. I mean, he got what he deserved as far as that goes," Denise Watson said.
Cox's family and attorneys left the courthouse without commenting to reporters.