Houston man gets 30 years for 'execution-style' murder
A Houston man was sentenced to 30 years in prison Wednesday for a “execution-style” murder more than a year ago.
On Nov. 2, 2017, Justin Brunsvold shot and killed 32-year-old Patrick McMullen in a pullout near Mile 59 of the Parks Highway.
Brunsvold believed McMullen was having an affair with his estranged wife.
Kerry Corliss, the assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case, said drugs also played a factor in the killing.
“It’s a homicide surrounding debts related to drugs and thefts, which ultimately led to Pat’s death,” Corliss told the judge.
Brunsvold accepted a plea deal on one count of second-degree murder.
His attorney, Wallace Tetlow, said the shooting was unintentional. Tetlow said McMullen initially pulled out the shotgun used to kill him, but Brunsvold grabbed the shotgun and punched him in the face.
“At that point Mr. Brunsvold indicated to police that Mr. McMullen spun around and he had the shotgun at that point and just fired the shot out of fear that Mr. McMullen was going to react after the punch,” Tetlow said. “Of course that’s the shot that brought us all here today.”
Judge Vanessa White said she considered how the sentence length would address the elements of community condemnation and reaffirming societal norms.
“The methamphetamine and opioid crisis we are experiencing in our state is killing a generation of people,” White said. “The bottom line is if the drugs don’t get you, the violence associated with the drug milieu every well might. That’s what I’m looking at here.”
She sentenced Brunsvold to serve 30 years, with 10 years of probation following his release.
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