7/29/2014

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Murdered woman's brother: 'There's a blackness that follows you for years'

Murdered woman's brother: 'There's a blackness that follows you for years'

YAKIMA, Wash. -- A judge ruled Frank Brugnone guilty of 2nd degree murder as an accomplice in the murder of Carolyn Clift in 1997. The verdict came Friday morning in Yakima County Superior Court.

Earlier this week, a jury found Michael Gorski guilty of 2nd degree murder and possession of a deadly weapon for the same crime.

It can only be described as bittersweet for a family that waited more than 15 years for justice. Still, some had to hear it from up above.

"I'm very sad my mother and my father, Carolyn's mother and father, died before they could find out," said Carolyn's brother Curits Clift.

The judge was very clear she didn't believe his story or the picture his defense tried to paint.

"The injuries and cellular material under her nails are consistent with a woman who fought for her life," said, Judge Ruth Reukauf. "Not the scuffle you described."

"There's a blackness that follows you for years," said Curtis. "And then finally they pick someone up and you have some hope."

After both convictions, that hope turned into relief. Relief that someone will pay for the smile Curtis no longer sees.

"You remember the past," said Curtis. "You remember how wonderful she was as a sister and a mother."

Both men were also convicted of having a deadly weapon at the time of the murder.

Gorski was arrested in Bellingham on July 12th, 2011. Brugnone was arrested the next day. They will be sentenced next month.  Brugnone's attorney says he plans to appeal.

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