GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — A man already sentenced to death for an Oklahoma cold-case killing has pleaded guilty to murder in the deaths of two girls and a young woman whose disappearances also went unsolved for decades.

William Reece pleaded guilty Wednesday in a courtroom in Galveston and nearby Angleton in the 1997 killings of 12-year-old Laura Smither of Friendswood, 17-year-old Jessica Cain of Tiki Island and 20-year-old Kelli Cox of Denton.

The 62-year-old was serving a 60-year prison sentence for a 1998 Texas kidnapping in 2016 when he began cooperating with investigations of the other deaths.

He was sentenced to death last year for the 1997 killing of 19-year-old Tiffany Johnson of Oklahoma City.

“Today brings an end to 25 years of uncertainty for everyone affected by the murders of Laura Smither and Jessica Cain,”  Galveston County District Attorney Jack Roady said in a statement. “It’s true that no amount of punishment could heal the wounds suffered by their families and the communities who loved them.  But, these convictions will help ensure that their murderer will die in prison, where he belongs. 

“Our hearts go out to the girls’ families and friends, and we pray for their comfort and ultimate healing.  And, we are truly grateful for the unrelenting determination of all of the investigators and volunteers who never gave up on these girls over the last 25 years.”