Published: Apr 27, 2010 9:55 PM EDT

PROVIDENCE, R.I.  - A Rhode Island man has pleaded guilty to bludgeoning his parents (pictured) and putting the bodies in their backyard cesspool.

The plea Tuesday from James Soares, Jr. came as jury selection was scheduled to begin in his murder trial in Providence. Soares was charged with the murders on July 27, 2008, one day after the bodies of his parents were removed from the in-ground cesspool of their home in Warren.

They had been reported missing two weeks earlier after failing to show up for a family get-together. Prosecutors say Soares and his girlfriend used the couple's credit cards to go on a shopping spree.

He faces consecutive life sentences. Judge Francis Darigan scheduled sentencing for July 23.