'Relief': Kopf family celebrates Dalton plea

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Vickie Kopf didn’t realize just how stressed she was about Jason Dalton’s trial until she learned there would not be one.

“My knees buckled. I almost fell,” Kopf said of the moment she heard that the man who shot her daughter in the head would plead guilty.

“You don’t understand the relief I feel," she continued. "It is great to stand here and look at my daughter and know she can go to sleep tonight knowing there’s no way he can get to her. Because that’s what she’s been afraid of. She’s been through three years of hell.”

The family planned to go out to dinner Monday night to celebrate the guilty plea.

They had chosen to stay away from the court proceedings, so Vickie Kopf was on her way to the kitchen to make coffee Monday morning when the breaking news on television stopped her in her tracks.

Dalton pleaded guilty to all 16 counts against him, putting a halt to jury selection and ending his trial before it began. He will be sentenced in February to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

View the full story on Wood TV

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