SPOKANE, Wash. - Cole Strandberg, who said he used a crossbow to shoot his victim in a sexually motivated murder, received a 36 year prison sentence Monday for killing 22-year-old Jennifer Bergeron in 2008.
Strandberg, who's fought with corrections deputies five different times, was led into court under heavy security and chained to a desk
Once the sentencing hearing got started he couldn't escape the wrath of Bergeron's mother.
"I don't know if you understand what your actions have done to our family Cole. You have taken a life in a most cruel and gruesome way. There will always be a hole in my heart that will never be filled," Victoria Huizar said.
Back in January of 2008 Strandberg befriended Bergeron at the STA Bus Plaza and invited her to his apartment. Inside police say Strandberg using a variety of tools to torture the young woman including shooting her in the head with a cross bow.
"I wish that justice could truly be done and you would have to endure exactly what you did to her. The only reason I can sleep at night is because you can't do this to any other young woman again," Huizar said.
While Strandberg killed Bergeron, both the prosecution and defense blame Spokane mental health officials for not acting on a report from Strandberg's case worker that he was threatening to shoot someone.
"They had a warning that Mr. Strandberg was threatening to shoot people with a crossbow and they had a counselor, who reported this through the correct channels, to see that the threat was addressed," defense attorney Chris Bugbee said.
Even the judge agreed Strandberg's mental health problems had not been properly handled both before and after his arrest and then sentenced Strandberg to 36 years behind bars for the sexually motivated death of Jennifer Bergeron..
"He's gonna be locked up so he can't hurt anybody else. I think it's a win-win and I think she would have been happy," Huizar said.
The Spokane County Jail's staff may also be happy with Strandberg's sentence. He's been locked up at the jail for more than three years and can't even be out of his cell unless four corrections deputies are present.
Now sometime within the next week Strandberg will become the Department of Corrections' problem for at least the next 36 years..
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