HUDSON, Wis. (WCCO) — It took a St. Croix County jury just three-and-a-half hours to find a former boyfriend guilty in the killings of a New Richmond, Wis., mom and her 10-year-old daughter.
Cristian Daniel Nunez displayed no emotion as the judge read off the five guilty verdicts. He was convicted of killing Courtney and Jasmine Bradford and then setting their house on fire.
More than 40 witnesses testified over the past week, piecing together a mountain of evidence linking Nunez to the crime. Jurors also found Nunez guilty of stealing Bradford’s car and credit card.
Twenty minutes after jurors had some evidentiary questions answered, they returned to the courtroom. The fate of Cristian Daniel Nunez was in their hands.
Judge Scott Needham read off the five counts, each with the same verdict, “guilty of first degree intentional homicide,” Judge Needham told the courtroom.
After six long days, dozens of witnesses and hundreds of exhibits, jurors had no doubt.
Said New Richmond Chief of Police Craig Yehlik, who was a detective on the case, “It’s telling the story. It’s no one piece, I guess it’s the entire story,” he said.
Nunez brutally stabbed to death his ex-girlfriend and her 10-year-old daughter in their New Richmond home on Sept. 2, 2015.
“I think the circumstances of his flight, his injuries, his taking of things from her is what convinced the jury to put those links together,” said prosecutor Mike Nieskes.
Among the most compelling evidence was the string of text messages the two exchanged only hours before the killings. Jurors asked to hear back some of the messages Tuesday morning and could clearly tell that the couple’s relationship was rocky.
But the burns they saw photographed on Nunez’s leg shortly after he was arrested in El Paso, Texas, along with evidence of his fleeing in Bradford’s car, along with her identification and credit card, seemed to seal his guilt.
Said Courtney’s brother, Dain Bradford, “She wanted to get out of the relationship, it wasn’t a good one.”
Dain said his sister was making changes for the better when her life came to an unfortunate and violent end.
“She was doing awesome, she was losing weight, exercising, becoming a better person. She was a great mom, an awesome mom,” Bradford said.
It’s the names on his memorial wristband he’ll now remember, not the heartless soul who took them away.