On Thursday morning a West Virginia pleaded guilty to killing a Glens Falls woman and her young daughter this past summer. Matt Hunter has more on Bryan Redden's admission in Warren County Court.
QUEENSBURY, N.Y. – Appearing in Warren County Court late Thursday morning, Bryan Redden matter-of-factly described how he ended the life of 33-year-old Crystal Riley on August 11, and a few moments later did the same to her four-year-old daughter, Lilly Frasier.
"I slit her throat, too," Redden replied when asked by Judge John Hall how he killed Frasier.
“What’s happened here, what he is accused of doing and now has pleaded guilty to doing, is about the worst thing that could happen to a family,” Warren County District Attorney Jason Carusone said. “It’s devastating.”
Pleading guilty to all eight counts he faced, including two counts each of first- and second-degree murder, Redden's admission came five months to the day after Riley's and Frasier's bodies were found inside their South Street home.
Redden's lawyer, who declined comment Thursday, had been considering a plea of "not guilty by reason of insanity."
"As the court as indicated, he had some defenses he was considering, but he has given up all of those defenses. He has admitted the conduct," Carusone said.
"There is no justification for it, but he knows what he did is wrong and he is paying for it," said Lana Van Gundy, a friend of Redden’s.
Van Gundy, who was in the courtroom during Redden’s plea, says the defendant told her he was high on heroin and cocaine and has no recollection of what happened.
"He said he snapped out of whatever, being high or whatever, and he said he woke up and there was bodies in front of him,” she said.
Van Gundy also said Redden showed no signs of being a violent person in the prior year and a half she knew him.
"Honestly, he was like my best friend,” she said. “Every time I needed somebody or vice versa, I could call him."
What remains unclear is what led Redden to end two lives so young.
"At trial, we do not have to prove motive, and oftentimes we can’t,” Carusone said. “For me personally, I can’t think of any motive that would make sense out of what has happened here.”
Judge John Hall said it his is "inclination" to sentence Redden to 44 years to life in prison, but that is subject to change based on arguments from lawyers. Sentencing is scheduled for March 8.