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Jourdain sentenced to 8 years in prison for stabbing death

BEMIDJI -- A Bemidji man convicted of stabbing and killing his girlfriend was sentenced to eight years and four months in prison, as well as another four years and two months of supervised release Monday as details emerged about his "intellectual...

BEMIDJI -- A Bemidji man convicted of stabbing and killing his girlfriend was sentenced to eight years and four months in prison, as well as another four years and two months of supervised release Monday as details emerged about his “intellectual disability.”.

Brian Keith Jourdain, 26, was convicted in June of one count of second-degree murder without intent for the killing of Krista Marie Fisherman, 35, of Redby.

Jourdain stabbed Fisherman multiple times in the legs on Feb. 13, 2015, cutting her femoral vein and causing her death.

John Schmid, Jourdain’s attorney, requested that Judge Paul Benshoof impose a lighter sentence due to what he called Jourdain’s “intellectual disability,” something that was discussed extensively by attorneys for both Jourdain and the state, but which was never revealed during Jourdain’s trial.

“Nineteen years’ worth of mental health evaluations” have shown that Jourdain has a mild to moderate intellectual disability, Schmid told the court.

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Beltrami County Attorney Annie Claesson-Huseby requested that Jourdain be sentenced to 15 years in prison.

“The defendant, on Feb. 13, 2015, had control,” Claesson-Huseby said. “He had control not only over his actions, but over the victim herself.”

Because Jourdain was in control, Claesson-Huseby argued, he should not be given a lighter sentence.

Jourdain spoke briefly as well, expressing regret for Fisherman’s death. It was the first time Jourdain spoke directly to the court, as he chose not to testify during his five-day trial.

“I’d like to publicly apologize,” Jourdain said before he was sentenced. “I wasn’t trying to kill Krista.”

Before he sentenced Jourdain, Benshoof also spoke to the court. He recognized that Jourdain does have an intellectual disability, but said the circumstances surrounding Fisherman’s death made a lighter sentence inappropriate.

“Mr. Jourdain has a mental impairment; it’s clear that he does,” Benshoof said. “He did leave her to bleed out...She had to crawl into the street to hail down passersby for help.”

Outside of the courtroom Jourdain’s grandmother, Darlene Jourdain, expressed concern about her grandson’s sentence.

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“We didn’t get to say in court what we wanted to. We couldn’t tell the truth,” she said. “He’s not going to survive prison...I’ll stick by him for as long as he lives in there.”

Related Topics: CRIME
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