The Rotterdam man who admitted to strangling his ex-girlfriend and her mom to death was sentenced Tuesday. YNN's Megan Cruz has more on the reaction from the victims' family.
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- "I'm so excited," said Doreen Pitsas. "This is such a big part of closure for this family.
Brice Rivenburgh will spend 45 years to life in prison for killing two women back in April. Jessica McCormack, 22, and her mother Tammy, 52, were strangled to death by Rivenburgh. Jessica and Rivenburgh were dating on and off.
Rivenburgh was sentenced Tuesday in a packed courtroom, filled with nearly 60 family members and friends of the women.
"The neighborhood mom," said Brad McCormack. "If you were a friend of mine, you grew up in our house. And she was like that till the day she passed."
McCormack is Tammy's son and Jessica's older brother. He was one of seven people who chose to speak at the sentencing before Judge Karen Drago made her decision. Laughter and tears filled the courtroom as they spoke of Tammy. She was called a giving person who loved fried pickles.
As for Jessica, they called her Jessie, they cried over the wedding dress she was saving for, but will never wear.
"The funny one, the little sister, quirky, fun to be around," said McCormack.
The investigation revealed on the night of April 9th to the 10th, Rivenburgh entered the McCormack's home 3 times. He raped Jessica, killed the women, stole from them, then tried to cover his tracks.
Rivenburgh showed no emotion while family members expressed their anger and sadness, but when it was his turn to speak, he too broke down in tears. He apologized, and said his world also ended when he killed the woman he loved. He said because of him, two angels are no longer here.
"Didn't even want to hear it," said Pitsas.
"I don't understand how someone could do this crime and keep saying I love her. You don't love her if that's what you did," said McCormack.
Schenectady County District Attorney Bob Carney said, "He offered no insight to his own behavior. He doesn't know why he did what he did, which to my mind makes him that much more dangerous."
The family is glad the district attorney's office offered Rivenburgh a plea deal. They said they did not want this to go to trial.
"We didn't need to hear gory details of exactly what happened," said Pitsas. "We have our own nightmares in our minds every day.
Rivenburgh said wants to get help while in prison. Judge Drago said all mental services would be available to him.
Rivenburgh will also have to pay for some of the McCormacks' funeral expenses.