Locals had mixed reactions:
"I just think it's fantastic. That expense now won't be on the state anymore."
"He plead guilty. He did the right thing. He's going to be put away now and I am glad about that. One more bad guy off the street."
"I can't believe it. Well good, because he is guilty. What do you know? The man did the first honorable thing in his life."
It was an ending few people predicted...not even members of the Committee to Aid Abused Women, an organization that's been following the trial since day one. Amy Saathoff says she rarely sees abusers take responsibility for their actions. But still, she says, a guilty plea won't bring Charla Mack back to life.
"I don't see this is a victory for anyone. It was a very sad case. There was an amazing individual who is no longer with us. A child without a mom."
Saathoff says her agency helps around 12,000 women a year...and when high-profile domestic violence trials go public, sometimes abusers use the case as a scare tactic.
"We have a lot of victims who call us and say, 'my husband said I am going to get the same thing Charla Mack got' or 'my husband is going do the same thing Darren Mack did.'"
Saathoff hopes the guilty plea will teach victims that their abusers can't get away with hurting them, but Saathoff and many other members of the community say, Mack's sentencing will still be too light.
"When you kill someone, justice should be served. 20 years I don't think is enough."
"He doesn't deserve to walk the face of the earth again as a free man. That's a disgrace."
Saathoff also told us the Mack trial is not the first time abusers have used high-profile domestic violence cases as the basis for threats...she says after O.J. Simpson was acquitted, women often called in saying their partners were threatening them by telling them they were going to get "OJ'd."
Saathoff hopes in the Mack case, his guilty admission will empower women...and not frighten them.
District Attorney Richard Gammick says although he felt this was a good resolution to the case, he was surprised that it's gone on as long as it has.
He also said, Mack confessed to the crimes by telephone shortly after Charla was killed and Judge Chuck Weller was shot...so in Gammick's eyes, Mack was only admitting to something he already admitted to a long time ago.