Second Suspect in Selah Murder Convicted
Mere moments after his hearing had started, Frank Brugnone was handed his verdict; guilty of second degree murder.
Brugnone was the second suspect in the 1997 slaying of Carolyn Cift in Selah.
His co-defendant, Michael Gorski, was also found guilty of second degree murder by a jury on Monday.
It's the outcome the victim's brother, Curtis Clift, was hoping for during the 3-week trial.
"There's a great deal of relief, 15 years of built up tension is suddenly released right at that moment," said Clift, "I'm very sad that my mother and father -- Carolyn's mother and father -- died before they could find out."
Prosecutors say the factors that played the biggest role in this case were the amount of evidence gathered by investigators, the witnesses that came forward, and the lack of consistency both men had in their testimonies.
Extensive DNA testing linked Gorski to Clift's apartment, and testimony from key witnesses - placed both men at the scene of the crime and dismantled both suspect's alibis.
"It's an excellent verdict from Judge Reukauf, it was an excellent verdict from the jury," said Senior Deputy Prosecutor Patti Powers, "We appreciate all of the hard work that the court as well as the jury put in to this case."
Curtis Clift says nothing can be done to bring back his sister who he remembers as having a "radiant smile," but can now rest knowing justice has been served.
"It's frightening to have someone taken from you so violently," said Clift, "There is no reason for what they did. They're evil people, and they deserve what they've gotten."
Prosecutors say both Gorski and Brugnone are facing 12 to 20 years in prison -- they will be sentenced next month.