OKLAHOMA CITY - A Fort Cobb man faces up to life in prison after admitting Thursday he killed his three young children last year, authorities said.
Dean R. Payne, 47, pleaded guilty during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City, federal prosecutors said.
Payne was charged with murder within Indian country because the Aug. 25 killings happened on tribal land in Caddo County.
Prosecutors accused Payne of shooting Ciera Payne, 9; Keelie Payne, 7; and Tye Payne, 5, in the head twice before setting his home on fire early Aug. 26.
Their deaths came hours after Bureau of Indian Affairs law enforcement officers served Payne with a protective order barring him from contact with his wife, Traci Payne.
Traci Payne's protective order prevented her husband from having any contact with her, but she allowed him to keep their children on while she stayed with a friend.
Investigators have said Payne told them he shot his children and tried unsuccessfully to take his own life before setting the house on fire.
The Comanche Nation, of which Payne is a member, opted not to allow the death penalty, leaving life in prison as an option.