Updated: Tuesday, 26 Feb 2013, 2:22 PM CST
Published : Tuesday, 26 Feb 2013, 2:18 PM CST
CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — An escaped prisoner who killed two workers at a St. Petersburg home has been sentenced to life in prison.
As part of a deal with Pinellas County prosecutors, 36-year-old Michael Scott Norris pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of first-degree murder and one count each of arson and armed burglary. He had been facing a possible death sentence.
Authorities say Norris left the Largo Residential Re-Entry Center, where he was in a work-release program, in September. He later stole a handgun from a St. Petersburg hotel. After that, investigators say Norris went to a nearby home, where 51-year-old Bruce Johnson and 36-year-old Arthur Regula were working on renovations. Norris killed the men during a burglary and set the house on fire. He was arrested several days later.
Before his escape, Norris had been in prison since 2004.