WENTWORTH — Jose Alvarez Jr., who is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the 2012 double homicide of Douglas “Troy” and LaDonna French, will spend two consecutive life sentences in prison without the possibility of parole.

He appeared with his attorney before a full courtroom in Rockingham County Court on Friday, uttering a brief "I'm sorry," at the end of his 318-day incarceration.

"Mr. Alvarez, you will die in prison," Judge Ed Wilson said when delivering the sentence

Alvarez has been held in the Rockingham County Jail since Aug. 25, 2015, when investigators linked five drops of blood found at the crime scene to him.

Prosecutors said he has admitted to shooting the parents of his sister-in-law on Feb. 4, 2012.

"We want the family and community to know he acted alone," defense attorney Vince Rabil said.

Prosecutors have said Alvarez killed the couple so that he could escape. The couple's daughter Whitley French was left alive, because she wasn't blocking the door.

During his court appearance, Alvarez was described as having the maturity of a teenager. Attorneys said he had a fascination with the French's house.

Rabil said Alvarez has been reading psychology books to try to understand his own actions.

"He is a stranger to himself," Rabil said of Alvarez.

At a press conference following the plea, Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page credited forensics in solving the homicides.

"I said years ago, You can run, but you can't hide from your DNA," Page said. "That rang true today."


In a plea agreement approved today, Jose Alvarez was sentenced to life without parole in the deaths of Troy and LaDonna French. 


Jose Alvarez, who is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the 2012 double homicide of Douglas “Troy” and LaDonna French, pleaded guilty today in Rockingham County Superior Court.

Alvarez received two life sentences.

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