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Nunez sentenced to life without parole

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Cristian Nunez was sentenced Monday, Feb. 13, to life in prison without the possibility of parole. (File photo)2 / 2

A St. Croix County judge on Monday sentenced Cristian D. Nunez to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Nunez, the 38-year-old convicted in the 2015 slayings of Courtney Bradford and her daughter, Jasmine Bradford, received two consecutive life sentences from St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Scott Needham in a case he called “one of the most horrific crimes that I have encountered in my time on the bench.”

Needham said he factored in the brutality of the murders, Nunez’s apparent lack of remorse in the case and the need to protect the public in denying the possibility of parole.

“You’ve shown absolutely no remorse, no sense of repentance, no sense of ‘what I did was wrong,’” the judge said.

A jury convicted Nunez of killing the 30-year-old New Richmond mother and her 10-year-old daughter in December. The jury also convicted him of arson, auto theft and identity theft charges stemming from the case.

Bradford’s relatives, along with law enforcement officials from New Richmond and St. Croix County, watched as Needham handed down the sentence. As he did after hearing the jury’s verdict, Nunez — wearing an orange jail jumpsuit — remained still and appeared not to react to the sentence.

That he neither reacted nor made a statement to the court during sentencing struck Bradford’s family as hollow.

“It made the decision more of an empty victory — that the person affected didn’t seem to care,” said Dain Bradford, Courtney’s older brother.

Still, family members and law enforcement officials said the sentence signaled that justice was served in the case.

“It was appropriate and we’re satisfied,” New Richmond Police Lt. Veronica Koehler said. “It will never bring Courtney and Jasmine back, but it’s just another piece of closure for the family.”

See the Feb. 17 print edition for more from the sentencing.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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