Plea deal reached for Neal Jacobson who is accused of shooting, killing wife and twin sons in 2010

UPDATE: A judge has accepted a plea deal for Neal Jacobson.

He will receive life in prison without the possibility of parole in exchange forĀ  pleading guilty to three counts of first degree murder with a firearm in connection with the deaths of his wife and twin sons.


Prosecutors and defense attorneys have reached a plea agreement in the first-degree murder case of the Wellington man who killed his wife and twin sons two years ago as the family was sinking deep into debt.

Neal Jacobson, 51, is expected to enter the plea before Circuit Judge Stephen Rapp this afternoon. Palm Beach Public Defender Carey Haughwout filed a notice with Rapp last week saying there was an agreement in place.

Sarah Alsofrom, spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County State Attorney's office, confirmed this morning that a plea conference is scheduled for this afternoon. But she declined to discuss any details about the proposed agreement, adding that the office typically does not disclose such information before the actual hearing.

Jacobson, a failed mortgage broker struggling with debt and depression, shot his family on Jan. 24, 2010, the day his twin 7-year-old twin boys, Eric and Joshua, were to celebrate their birthday. He is charged with three counts of first-degree murder with a firearm.

Jacobson at the time of his arrest told investigators that he "just snapped."

Prosecutors had planned to seek the death penalty against Jacobson. Jacobson's defense team in August revealed they planned to pursue an insanity defense, attributing Jacobson's actions to the anti-depressant drugs he was on at the time of the killing.

One of defense's planned witnesses had the case gone to trial was Dr. Peter Breggin, who has testified on behalf of numerous accused killers who were taking high-powered drugs. He was expected to testify that "psychotropic medications prescribed to Mr. Jacobson ... pivotally contributed to Mr. Jacobson's state of mind at the time of the crime," assistant public defender Elizabeth Ramsey wrote in court papers.

Another psychologist was expected to testify that Jacobson is bipolar.

Assistant State Attorney Andrew Slater is the lead prosecutor in the case. Palm Beach County State Attorney Michael McAuliffe had planned to be the second chair in the case, but he is leaving the office next month before the end of his first term for a job in the private sector.

A trial in Jacobson's case had previously been scheduled for December, but attorneys in the case asked for a delay. A status hearing had been scheduled for last Friday but was canceled after the attorneys reached the agreement.

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