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Judge sentences Berrien County man to 40 to 60 years for killing two people

Alex Perez // Photo provided

Two families devastated and two little girls without their parents.

That was the reality inside a Berrien County courtroom Monday afternoon.

A judge sentenced 26-year-old Alex Perez to at least 40 years in prison.

Perez plead no contest in the murders of his children's mother Renee Mitchell and her father John Mitchell.

An emotional day for both Perez and the Mitchells.

Throughout most of the sentencing, you could hear muffled cries.

One family crying for their loss.

Another crying that their son and brother will spend most of his life behind bars because of his actions.

The murders happened in 2016 at Renee and her father John Mitchell's home.

Perez violently murdered them using a hammer.

He then abducted the two young girls he shared with Renee and drove them to Colorado where he was arrested.

Since that arrest, he's been deemed incompetent to stand trial multiple times.

At the hearing, he told the judge he was sorry and that hopefully God will understand.

But the Mitchell family says while they don't think 40 years is enough, they're now concentrated on Renee's two little girls.

"When I do get a chance to talk to them, I want them to know who their mother was, what kind of person she was and that she loved them and she would've never put them at any harm. We hate that it happened this way and we are just ready to get it over and passed,” said Stephanie Kopaceski, family member.

Only after those 40 years are served can Perez petition for parole.

While he was leaving the courtroom, his family members were yelling words of encouragement and telling him they loved him.

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