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Convicted murderer Bourne Huddleston gets life in prison

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Thu, April 17 2014 at 6:45 PM, Updated: Thu, April 17 2014 at 10:25 PM

Medford, Ore. -- Bourne Huddleston, the man convicted of shooting and killing his wife in March 2012 while his 10-year-old son was sleeping down the hall, will spend the rest of his life in prison after a judge handed down the sentence Thursday morning.  

Judge Lorenzo Mejia recommended Huddleston not be released until he serves out his natural life sentence. That recommendation is something he said he's never done in his 25-years in the justice system.

Kristy's family members speak at sentencing

It was a very emotional day in court for family members.         

Now at the end of the trial, Kristy's family members were allowed to  say a few words. Some of the comments were scathing.

"[I think about how] We ate at the same table. How this could possibly happen and how you could be such a brutal, blood-thirsty killer," said Kristy's father Dwight Esselstyn in a packed courtroom.

"How could you shoot my daughter through the jaw ... with a bullet and watch her bleed for 4-5 minutes and not do nothing to help her," he continued.

More scathing words for Huddleston

While family members had choice words for Huddleston, so did the judge and prosecutor in the case.

 "I have never seen anyone like you sir," began Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Lorenzo Mejia.

"You are a cold-blooded killer," he continued.

Mejia said he didn't understand why Huddleston would kill Kristy when he had stated in court that the couple had agreed to an uncontested divorce if the time came that either one of them wanted to leave the relationship.

In addition Mejia described Huddleston as amoral and anti-social with a lack of ability to love.

"Your primary and only concern is yourself and your needs," said Mejia.

Meantime, Jackson County Deputy District Attorney David Hoppe said similar remarks.

"I've spent the last 11-years prosecuting rapists, murderers, and child molesters. He's probably the worst human being I've ever known," said Hoppe.

When given an opportunity to speak, Huddleston declined.

"I have no comment at this time your Honor," he said.

Kristy's sister, Melissa Esselstyn, said in the beginning she looked up to Huddleston -- who is a retired marine -- and viewed him as Kristy's protector. However, now she looks at him with disgust.

"It was like looking at a monster," said Melissa. 

Sentencing brings some closure for family members

However, as the life sentence was read aloud, the family says they experienced relief and some closure.

"We've been waiting for justice for our daughter for two years now and at least now we have that," said Denise Esselstyn, Kristy's mother.

Esselstyn said her concern now is for her 10-year-old grandson, who won't have to worry about his dad coming after him and killing him as well.

With the trial behind them, family members are trying to focus on the good times they had with Kristy.

"She taught me how to ride a bike, she taught me how to tie my shoes ... I will miss her dearly," said Melissa Esselstyn.

Now Kristy's family is clinging to memories of their beloved mother, sister, daughter and friend.

Bob Abel, Huddleston's attorney, declined to speak with NBC 5 News on camera. Huddleston's family left before we could speak with them.

If Huddleston is somehow released on his murder charge, Mejia said there would be post-prison supervision for life.

Huddleston will also have to pay restitution in the amount of $8149.22.

More to come

Hoppe said he plans to prosecute Bourne Huddleston's sister,  Genetta Huddleston-Coradetti, for allegedly trying to hire a hitman to kill one of the prosecution's witnesses.

 

What do you think? Sound off on our Facebook page and on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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