Murder suspect pleads guilty

Murder suspect pleads guilty

MANISTIQUE — The triple homicide case that has been in the headlines since April is coming to a close. In a stunning admission 47-year-old Gary Cordell pleaded guilty to three murder counts. ABC 10 was the only television station in court today for the proceedings. Here’s an exclusive look at what went down inside the courtroom.

Gary Cordell walked silently into the courtroom, but he didn’t stay silent for long. Cordell pleaded guilty to three murder charges…

Two counts of first–degree murder and one count of felony murder, in the deaths of Carrie Nelson, Heather Aldrich, and Jody Hutchinson. Cordell originally faced twelve felony counts. Judge William Carmody then asked Cordell a series of questions.

“You understand that if I accept your plea by pleading guilty to the crimes are punished by life without parole?”

“Yes sir.”

“By pleading guilty do you understand that there will not be a trial and all your rights of a trial will be waived?”

“Yes sir.”

Then, Cordell’s attorney, Brian Rahilly, who advised Cordell not to plead guilty, interviewed his client about his actions the night of April 17th.

“Did you strangle Carrie Nelson to the point where she no longer lived?”

“Yes sir.”

“As to Mr. Jody Hutchinson did you strangle Mr. Hutchinson?”

“Most definitely.”

“To the point where you didn’t want him to live?”

“Yes sir.”

“And you did it with the intent to kill?”

“Yes sir.”

Schoolcraft County Prosecutor Tim Noble asked Cordell to clarify a few details when it came to his relationship with Kenneth Brunke, another defendant in the case.

Cordell replied bluntly to Noble’s inquiries

“Does Mr. Brunke owe you money?”

“Absolutely not. Not anymore.”

“What did Mr. Brunke owe you money for?”

“I don’t believe that’s any of your business.”

“One man shall die for another to live.”

“Your honor I have no further questions.”

Cordell will be back in court for sentencing December 10th.


A suspect in a triple homicide in Schoolcraft County entered a plea agreement Thursday morning in Circuit Court.

47-year-old Gary Cordell pleaded guilty to two counts of first degree murder and one count of felony murder. Cordell was facing twelve felony counts in connection to the deaths of Jody Hutchinson, Carrie Nelson and Heather Aldrich, who were found in a burnt vehicle in Doyle Township in April.

Tune in to ABC 10 News at 5:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. tonight for the latest on the day’s proceedings.