Dae Kwon Yun, 61, pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and agreed to serve two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole, the Los Angeles Times reported. The deal allowed Yun to avoid the possibility of being executed.
The Times said Yun appeared in court handcuffed and chained. He spoke softly through a Korean interpreter. A sheriff's deputy told the judge Yun's status had been changed to suicidal.
Authorities said Yun had intended to die with his children in the conflagration six years ago but got out of the SUV at the last moment.
The killings took place two weeks after he closed his T-shirt manufacturing business and a week after his wife of 13 years, Sun Ok Ma, filed for divorce, the newspaper said.