MANISTIQUE — A man who admitted to the murder of three people has been given his sentence.
For the rest of his life, 47–year–old Garry Cordell will spend his days behind a barbed wire fence and inside a prison cell within the Michigan Department of Corrections.
ABC 10 was on hand this morning for Cordell’s sentencing for the murders of Carrie Nelson, Heather Aldrich and Jody Hutchinson.
“I put up a picture on how he left the scene, deceased bodies burned in it beyond recognition. That picture provides the lasting memory that I have of Mr. Cordell and it’s the same one I hope that everyone else has; a murderer, a murderer and a murderer.”
Schoolcraft County Prosecutor Tim Noble didn’t hold back how he felt about Gary Cordell and the crimes that he committed, killing three people and burning up their bodies back in April.
Before Cordell was taken to prison, several family members of the deceased had the opportunity to address the convicted murderer.
“Compassion is a commonly used word. However I ask you now, how much compassion did you have when you murdered Carrie, Heather and Jody?” asked Kim Morrison, Carrie and Heather’s aunt. “My family has seen nothing of that in you and that’s ok. Your time will come. You have one more person to face and that is God.”
“Joe (Jody) has been gone for 210 days. You are responsible (for his death). He did not want to leave us. You murdered him,” said Linda Cole, Jody’s mother.
“It takes four minutes for someone to suffocate; four minutes that Joe looked you in the eyes and begged for mercy,” added Cole.
Judge William Carmody gave Cordell the opportunity to make a statement.
Cordell did not apologize to the families for what he did to the three victims.
“There’s no excuse for what I did. I just was the unfortunate one who had the responsibility to take care of matters,” Cordell explained. “I didn’t do this to hurt their families. No way ever will I ask for forgiveness. I’m proud of who I am, what I done and what I stand for.”
After hearing Cordell’s statement to the court, Judge Carmody sentenced Cordell to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the three–felony murder counts.
Carmody also said something of interest to Cordell and the rest of the court.
“I’ve never been an advocate for the death sentence, but for this particular instance I could probably find an exception if this were a different state,” said Carmody. “You’ve earned a different penalty in this courts opinion.”
“They were, all three, wonderful people no matter what anyone says or thinks,” said Kellie Roll, Carrie & Heather’s mom. “They were human beings and they were very loved by their family. We will miss them forever and ever. They will never be forgotten.”
With Cordell off to prison, his fellow co–defendant, Kenneth Brunke, will be sentenced December 10th back in Schoolcraft County Circuit Court.