MARSHALL, TX (KLTV) - A jury has reached a decision in the sentencing trial of Brad Allen Dunn for the death of his wife, Kari Dunn.
On Thursday, the jury sentenced Dunn to 99 years in prison, plus a fine of $10,000.
Brad Allen Dunn, 35, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder charges in the Dec. 1 stabbing death of his wife, Kari Rene Hunt Dunn, and was indicted by a grand jury.
Kari Dunn was found dead at Baymont Inn and Suites in Marshall. Police say that before their arrival, Brad fled the scene with the couple's 4-year-old child, leaving behind two other children at the hotel. He was later apprehended.
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Thursday in court, the prosecution asked the jury to put themselves in Kari's shoes and imagine that their life was being drained and their children were left in a room with a murderer.
"He wants you all to think she forgave him. And I think that's what he wants to think," Assistant District Attorney Kirsten Kaye argued. "But honestly, she forgave him? She couldn't even scream. He put his knife in her neck so hard and so far he couldn't even pull it out."
Kaye argued that the last words Kari's child heard her mother say were "Brianna call 911."
"Because of him, these children live in a world where people they love can die. Where they can die. ... They learned all these things from their daddy. The man who was put on this earth to protect them," Kaye told the court before adding that "Brad Dunn deserves every second of the 99 years the state is asking for" in the case.
Defense Attorney Scott Rectenwald argued that most of the facts of the case pointed to a crime of passion. Rectenwald said that in the two weeks before the murder, Brad's world had been turned on its ear. He said Brad had been cut off with no information about Kari and the new man she had been seeing.
Rectenwald said that in Brad's mind, there was hope to save his marriage, and that when the truth was told in the bathroom of the Baymont Inn, he snapped. He urged the jury to take into consideration that all of the facts are applicable when considering whether or not it was a crime of passion.
He also argued that Kari's acts and voicemails show that she was "jerking Brad around" with the children and pointed out that a custody visitation schedule was never agreed upon.
"He wanted to convince her to stay, plead his case," Rectenwald said. "I point out to you - you don't have a thug. ... You don't have a drug dealer. I believe if you commit an evil act, you're not an evil person. Brad Dunn was just a regular guy."
Prior to closing arguments, Brad's father, Craig Dunn, took the stand and relayed a conversation he had with his son the day of the murder. He said his son called him saying he thought he killed Kari. He said he told Brad to find an open spot and put his hands out the windows and do exactly as officers instructed.The defense asked Craig about his son's earlier life.He said Brad moved in with his father at age 12 after allegedly being abused by his stepfather. Craig said the last time he had seen his son was in 2008.