QUEENSBURY — The Glens Falls man who murdered a mother and daughter last summer was sentenced to 44-years-to-life in state prison Thursday after he heard tearful statements from loved ones of the two victims.
Bryan M. Redden apologized and asked for forgiveness after he heard from the mother, brother and stepfather of victim Crystal Riley, and heard their requests that he spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Riley and her 4-year-old daughter, Lilly Frasier, were brutally murdered by Redden last August, and during Thursday’s proceedings, the case prosecutor revealed disturbing new details about Redden’s actions the day of the killing.
MaryEllen Monroe, Riley’s mother recounted the anguish and horror of finding her two loved ones dead, and the months of pain that have followed. She recounted her granddaughter’s love of her horse, Tater, and said she is “forever lost” until she crosses paths with them again in the afterlife.
“Crystal and Lilly (were) so beautful, so kind, selfless and loving,” she said.
Family members recalled Riley’s love of children, and for her three children. Her two sons were not at her home when the homicides occurred.
“She was a rock who held her children together,” said Crystal’s stepfather, Keith Monroe.
Keith Monroe said the family does not believe the case was a “crime of passion,” but Redden instead planned to rob them. Riley’s 10-year-old son feels guilty that he wasn’t home to protect his mother, he added.
Riley’s brother, Mike, talked of his love and admiration for his sister, and how she and her daughter were “stolen” from the family.
“The pain will never stop, nor will the pain fade, because it’s there every second I’m not with them,” he wrote.
Redden’s lawyer, Martin McGuinness, pointed to his client’s history of psychiatric problems and substance abuse, for which he said his client wasn’t being treated last summer. He said his client cooperated with police throughout the case, and what some described as a lack of remorse was attributable to his mental illness issues.
McGuinness asked Hall to impose a 20-to-life sentence.
Warren County Judge John Hall acknowledged that Redden had a “significant history of mental illness and inpatient treatment for mental illness.”
Hall called the killings “incomprehensible and senseless violence” but pointed out that Redden took full responsibility and had no prior record. The 44-to-life was the agreed-upon maximum as part of a plea deal to which Hall and Redden and his counsel agreed.
Redden, 21, was sentenced for his guilty pleas to first-degree murder, second-degree murder and lesser charges for the killings last Aug. 11 in a Glens Falls apartment building.
He pleaded guilty Jan. 11 for the knifepoint killings of Riley, 33, and her daughter in their Glens Falls home.
Redden claimed he was on a multi-day bender of drugs and alcohol, and didn’t remember what happened.
Warren County District Attorney Jason Carusone, though, said the evidence does not seem to show that Redden was highly intoxicated in the hours after the deaths, pointing out that he drove Riley’s car around, went to Aviation Mall and ate Chinese food before he called a woman he knew to see if she wanted to have sex.
Carusone said Redden “ransacked” the home after he washed his hands and took off blood-stained clothes.
“There’s nothing that shows this is a person who was so intoxicated he could not handle himself,” he said.
Carusone said Riley was killed in her kitchen, with knife wounds to her throat and chest. Her daughter also had knife wounds to her throat, and both had been strangled as well.
He said the victims’ loved ones have asked what the motive was, but Carusone said there is no explanation that makes sense.
“His explanation was, ‘I snapped and I panicked,’” Carusone explained. “It is literally a senseless act that has devastated a family. There is no making sense of it.”
Police said Redden told them that he and Riley had been romantically involved, though her family did not know of him and it was not clear what brought him to her apartment that day. He said in an interview last month that he did not know why he went there.
He was a native of West Virginia who had met Riley during the fall or winter of 2016.
Riley worked at a day care center in Glens Falls, and had spent most of her career working with children.
Redden will have to serve 44 years before becoming eligible for parole.