PORTLAND The family of a Gresham woman gunned down in front of her children last year is asking a judge to ensure her accused killer spends his life behind bars. But a plea deal could mean a lot less prison time.

Joshua Cavett, 36, was accused of shooting his 27-year-old wife Jessie in the head on Oct. 13, before kidnapping the couple s 2-year-old daughter and setting off an Amber Alert.

Background: Mother in Amber Alert shooting has died

Jessie Cavett s family was in the Multnomah County Courthouse Monday for meetings with Joshua, his attorneys and a judge to discuss sentencing terms.

Some of Jessie s friends and family members do not want the case to go to trial because it would be too hard on the couple s two girls, now 3 and 5 years old.

They also don t want to accept a plea deal that would give Joshua anything less than a life sentence, but they said he was seeking 25 years.

Dozens of people rallied outside the courthouse to support the family.

Just rally against the plea that's he's offering, said Jessie s friend Mary Askew. It's not fair for the crime. The punishment is definitely not fair for the crime.

I think it puts everybody in danger, friend Ashlea Burch added. I think it puts girls in danger. I think he's going to come out and do it again.

Related: Gresham murder suspect had history of violence

Meanwhile the family confronted Joshua inside the courtroom, saying they would do whatever it takes to keep him behind bars for life.

A restraining order Jessie filed two months before her death said Joshua had beaten her several times and threatened to kill her.

The judge said Monday a sentencing agreement could take anywhere from a day to several weeks.

Friends: Murder victim saw 'the best in people'


KGWreporter Ashley Korslien contributed to this report.

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