'You took my mother,' daughter tells Bismarck murderer who gets life
BISMARCK—Britney Loghry and her sisters will never share another moment with their mother, Misty Coffelt.
In a statement she read Friday afternoon at Morris Brickle-Hicks' sentencing, Loghry told her mother's murderer what he took from her family. Birthdays. Coffelt's visits with her grandchildren. Drinks on Loghry's 21st birthday.
"You took all those happy moments we could have ever had and you made sad ones, and I would love to have those back," she told Brickle-Hicks, seated across the courtroom.
A jury convicted Brickle-Hicks in September of felony murder for fatally stomping Coffelt in April 2016, leaving her to die with brutal injuries behind a store in Bismarck.
At Burleigh County Assistant State's Attorney Julie Lawyer's recommendation, South Central District Judge John Grinsteiner sentenced the 35-year-old convicted killer to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
"May God have mercy on your soul," he said.
Lawyer said Brickle-Hicks' lack of remorse, recidivism risk and assaultive behavior "stuck out" to her from his pre-sentence investigation.
"Given the brutality of this offense and the fact that he stomped a woman he didn't know to death because he said she called him a name, I think those factors weigh heavily into sentencing him to the department of corrections for life without giving him the possibility of parole," she said.
Defense attorney James Loraas asked for life with the possibility of parole. He said Brickle-Hicks asked him to request a 20-year sentence.
Loraas said a psychological evaluation indicated Brickle-Hicks has "low intellectual functioning" and would require accommodations in prison.
"He understands the seriousness of this, and we know that nothing that we can say will ever be enough, especially to the family," Loraas said.
Before Grinsteiner imposed his sentence, Brickle-Hicks spoke to the court, turning to look at the Loghrys as Loraas gripped his back.
"I'm sorry. I made a bad mistake. I'm not sitting here to BS anything, and I want to tell the Coffelt family, I'm really sorry," he said, facing his victim's daughters. "It does hurt. I didn't mean to take her away. I'm sorry."
He then sniffled and bowed his head.
Several Bismarck police officers attended the hearing in the small Burleigh County courtroom. Police Chief Dan Donlin hugged Loghry before the hearing.
In her statement, Loghry acknowledged Brickle-Hicks' family and wished them peace.
"My life has forever been changed and I will always miss my mother, but I will find happiness knowing that she is there watching over me and my family," she said.
"She used to be our angel on earth and now is she is our angel from above, and that you can never take away from me."