Man pleads guilty to killing Oregon prison officer

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) A 23-year-old man has pleaded guilty to aggravated murder in a plea deal, admitting that he killed an Oregon corrections officer while stealing his pickup truck.

The East Oregonian reports the agreement means Joshua Charles Weeks will avoid the death penalty at his sentencing in July.

The prosecution says he faces at least 30 years in prison.

Weeks is accused of killing 42-year-old Buddy Ray Herron as Herron headed to work at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in 2011.

The prosecution said Herron stopped to offer Weeks roadside help a few miles from Pendleton, and Weeks stabbed him.

In court Monday, Judge Dan Hill asked Weeks if that is what he did. Weeks replied: "Yes it is, your honor."

Weeks was arrested after a chase and crash.