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Jury sentences Walradt to life in prison

"Convicted murderer Brodie Walradt will have the rest of his life in prison to think about his crime.After less than three hours of deliberation, a jury decided Aug. 23 against the death penalty for Walradt. Jury members cited four mitigating factors: his abused childhood; his immaturity, reflected in large part in his letters to another woman during the trial; the length and quality of his premeditation; and mercy.Mercy is in itself a mitigating factor, said James Stokes, foreman of the jury.The same jury convicted Walradt three weeks ago of aggravated first-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter for the deaths of Beth Kennard and their unborn daughter, Alexis.The next step for Walradt is formal sentencing, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Sept. 28, then life without parole in one of the state's maximum security prisons.Walradt, his hair mussed from being brought hastily to the courtroom after the quick verdict, received the news with the same impassive expression he maintained through most of the trial.Family and friends tried to console a distraught Carole Kennard, mother of murder victim Beth Kennard, after the verdict was read and the jury polled by Judge Leonard Costello.Today is (Beth Kennard's son) Isaiah's birthday, so this family needs some space to be able to grasp the last three months, said victim's advocate Amy Fox of the Kitsap Sexual Assault Center when asked for comment.Fox said earlier the family was hoping for the death penalty.Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hauge was present for the verdict and spoke briefly to the Kennard family afterward.Hauge didn't think the verdict came back that fast.It's clear this jury worked real hard. It's a difficult decision to ask a jury to make. I'm not surprised by it, (though) I thought this case deserved the death penalty, he said.Deputy county prosecutor Michael Savage praised the jury for being thoughtful and deliberate, focused on the verdict. But he added I wish there was a different verdict. I respect their decision.Jury members commended the prosecutors. "

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