Suspect Sentenced Yet Still Facing Death Sentence

By: Karen Todd
By: Karen Todd

The local man who confessed to kidnapping and raping his ex-girlfriend, after brutally murdering her fiance, was sentenced on
some of those charges today.

Robert Lee McConnell was given two consecutive life sentences this
morning for the kidnapping and rape charges.

McConnell is now acting as his own attorney after firing his attorney before he sent the judge a handwritten letter detailing both the murder of 25-year-old Brian Pierce last August, as well as the kidnapping and rape of Pierce's girlfriend . . . who he'd been involved with in the past.

Today the letter that had the most impact came from McConnell's victim.

"I will never forget the most horrible day of my life . . . " read a portion of the letter.

As Chief Deputy D-A Tom Barb read the victim's letter to the court, Robert Lee McConnell showed no emotion.

As Judge Steven Kosach read his sentence, he was nonchalant as
well.

But - for the families of victims - sitting through this sentencing
hearing was no easy task.

"Even though we know pretty much the details, hearing it
over and over again brings it all back," says Pam McCoy, Pierce's mother.

But, according to Barb, McCoy will have to once again hear the
gory details next month when McConnell is sentenced for the murder of
McCoy's son, Brian Pierce.

Barb says he'll have to confirm McConnell's written confession.

"The only way to corraborate it is to put witnesses on the stand that can say this happened, this happened, this happened," Barb said.

"It brings it all back - the bad dreams - sleepless nights.. and it's gonna be difficult," McCoy said.

But McCoy says she's willing to endure the pain to put some sort of closure on the life-changing events of August 7th, 2002. "I just am very pleased to know that he will not be getting out of prison - ever," she said.

For the sexual assault, he has the possibility of parole after 10 years and for the kidnapping he could be paroled in 5 years.

But McConnell could receive the death penalty for the murder of
Brian Pierce when that phase of sentencing begins on August 25th.


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