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A man who fatally stabbed his sister and her two small children was sentenced Friday to life in prison after his mother testified it would be "a just sentence."

Christopher Bernard pleaded guilty to murder in the Oct. 4 slayings of Tricia Doyle, 30; her 4-year-old daughter, Gillian; and her 2-year-old son, James.

"I lost more than anyone could have possibly imagined," Patricia Bernard, the mother of the killer and victim, testified.

Addressing her son, she said: "You committed a horrific act, and you need professional help. We feel life in prison without parole is a just sentence."

Bernard, 36, looked around the courtroom as his mother spoke and didn't show any emotion.

Bernard struggled with addictions to OxyContin and cocaine and had drugs in his system when he tried to commit suicide after the killings. He had run onto a highway, where he was hit by a truck.

"I take full responsibility for my actions," he said Friday in court. "If my mind was not polluted by drugs, today would be a different day."

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