Man who pleaded guilty to three murders says he's innocent - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man who pleaded guilty to three murders says he's innocent

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A convicted triple murderer is speaking out for the first time in an exclusive jailhouse interview with CBS News 8.

Michael Richardson avoided the death penalty by accepting a plea deal, but now says he was pressured into pleading guilty. He also claims he knows who really did it.

"I harbor no illusions about spending the rest of my life in jail," Richardson said.

Speaking from a jail cell in Otay Mesa, convicted murderer Michael Richardson was, on the one hand, apologetic.

"I'm sorry it happened. I'm sorry any of this happened, very sorry," he said.

On the other hand, Richardson is professing his innocence.

"To kill my wife did not make any sense. None at all. We were getting along," he said.

The 60-year-old is serving life in prison after pleading guilty to murdering his wife and mother in law in 2010, and his girlfriend back in 1992. But now he says he's not guilty.

I was set to go to trial. I was wanting to go to trial. I wanted to go to trial but because of my daughter, I didn't," he said.

Richardson told CBS News 8 he was pressured into a plea deal, when the prosecutor threatened to put his 9-year-old daughter on the witness stand at trial.

"Think of what that trial would do to her mind, do to her. I mean, not only now but in the future," Richardson said.

So according to Richardson, he pleaded guilty to staging a car accident off Highway 67 and leaving the bodies of his 39-year-old wife and 72-year-old mother-in-law in the wreckage, all because he loves his daughter.

"Oh, I love her, unquestionably… forever and ever. That's my heart, always will be," he said.

Richardson also claims he knows who really committed the murders: a Poway tow truck driver named Steve Keresztury.

"He was infatuated with my wife. Has been for a long time," he said.

Keresztury told CBS News 8 he used to work for Richardson, but barely knew his wife.

"(Richardson's) crazy. I don't know where he would come up with that. I have no idea," he said.

"I think I met only met her once, and that was to take her keys one time when she locked her keys in the car, when I worked for him, and that was it."

CBS News 8 asked Keresztury if he had anything to say to Richardson.

"Sorry that it happened, but you gotta deal with what you did," he said.

Police say the real motive was that Richardson's wife found out he was having sex with his 17-year-old niece. Richardson admits to that crime, but claimed it didn't lead to the murder of his wife.

"We had 18 good years, wonderful years. She made some mistakes, I made some mistakes. I mean, that's marriage," he said.

Richardson's defense attorney declined to be interviewed. The district attorney's office emailed CBS News 8 a statement saying that Richardson "…willingly and voluntarily entered a guilty plea to three murders, knowing he could have gone to trial."

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