A 30-year-old Ceylon man convicted in a home-invasion murder in Blue Earth last year broke his silence on Monday.
During a hearing in Faribault County District Court, Judge Douglas Richards gave Brian Daniel Freeman a chance to talk before being sentenced.
"I'm not the only person at fault here. Candice had a lot of decisions she did and has to live with," says Freeman.
Last month, Freeman pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder in the death of 37-year-old Christopher Fulmer, and three counts of first-degree assault in the attacks of Freeman's wife, Candice, and her two teenage daughters.
He faced 11 felony counts for a home invasion attack on Feb. 20, 2012, in which he used a hammer to cause head injuries to all four.
County Attorney Troy Timmerman says Freeman's comments were unfortunate.
"His statement didn't show much remorse," says Timmerman.
Scott Cutcher, chief public defender for the Fifth Judicial District, says he did not know his client was going to say anything.
"It was totally his call, nothing surprises me. It's been a difficult and emotional time for everyone involved," he says.
Before the sentence was issued, surviving victims were given a chance to address the court.
Deb Weiderhoft, coordinator of the Faribault County Victim Service Program, read written statements on behalf of Candice Freeman's teenage daughters, Fulmer's mother and his 10-year-old son.
Candice Freeman told Richards of the physical injuries and emotional scars she and her daughters will have to live with the rest of their lives.
"On Feb. 20, 2012, my life and the lives of my daughters changed forever. It is hard to express in words how the impact of this horrific crime has affected our lives," she says.
"I will continue to heal and become a stronger person. I will continue to be strong for my girls, but life will never be the same," she adds.
As expected, Richards sentenced Freeman to a minimum of 33 years in prison and 198 months of supervised release. He was given credit for 385 days spent in the county jail.
"I hope this sentence will provide some sense of security to the community at-large and some closure to the victims during their healing process," says Richards.
Freeman also was ordered to pay $16,866 in restitution to Minnesota Crime Victims Reparations Board for crime scene clean-up costs.
Last Wednesday, Freeman was expected to be transported to St. Cloud so the state Department of Corrections (DOC) can conduct its intake process.
Cutcher says Freeman will go through programming that will take 60 to 90 days.
DOC officials will decide which prison Freeman will go to; most likely it will be at Stillwater or Oak Park Heights.