Judge Robert Lunnen sentenced Christopher Poulson, 30, to at least 16 years to life in prison for murder and manslaughter charges related to the 2015 deaths, according to the Daily Herald .
Last month, Poulson pleaded guilty to killing 23-year-old Emily Quijano and her 3-year-old son Gabriel Almiron.
“I can’t think of a better way to describe Christopher Poulson than cold-blooded,” said Lance Bastian, the prosecutor in the case. “The only regret I’ve seen is for himself.”
Poulson spoke to a packed courtroom of his and Quijano’s family and friends during the emotional hearing.
“I take full responsibility. I feel terrible,” Poulson said. “I am sorry. I was not in my right mind. Emily, I am sorry. Gabriel, I am sorry.”
Poulson acknowledged to using methamphetamine and drinking alcohol when he fatally injured the boy while babysitting him in September 2015, authorities said.
Poulson then said he panicked and shot Quijano as she slept before she could discover what had happened.
As part of an earlier plea agreement, Poulson helped police locate the pair’s skeletal remains a few weeks ago in a shallow grave near the small town of Eureka about 60 miles south of Salt Lake City.
Lunnen rejected the plea deal, which called for a maximum sentence of 30 years in exchange for Poulson’s cooperation with police.
“It’s difficult for me as a court to accept a 30-year limit on two very important lives,” the judge said during a hearing earlier this month.
Richard Poulson, the defendant’s father, spoke to his son directly during the hearing.
“We love you very much, and that will never change,” he said. “But these are serious crimes, and you need to be held accountable for those crimes.”
Several of Quijano’s family members tearfully shared memories of the woman and her son, according to the Deseret News . Some called for Poulson to spend the rest of his life in prison.
Brenda Marsh, Quijano’s mother, said she forgives him.
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