John Noonkester, the man convicted in the 2015 double murder of his ex-wife Kimberlee Thomas and her father Keith Thomas was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Thursday.
It was an explosive day in the Tehama County Court, with Nookester having to be removed from the courtroom after an emotional outburst.
Friends and family of Kimberlee and Keith patiently awaited to hear the judge hand down the sentence.
They've waited two and a half years to hear the words they heard today.
“John Noonkester has been judged a cold-blooded double-murderer despite his manufactured, concerted efforts and attempts at distorting the truth,” Tehama County District Attorney Gregg Cohen said.
Kimberlee’s childhood friend Kory Farias said she was pleased to hear the court’s decision.
“I definitely think justice was served for Kim and Keith,” Farias said.
Noonkester remained silent during most of the proceedings, but at one point erupted and cursed at the prosecutor after stating that Noonkester said he wanted to kill his ex-wife even before learning anything about her boyfriend who he believed to be a sex-offender, a key argument in his defense.
Noonkester argued that the jury never got to see the texts where he offered to protect Kimberlee and their two daughters from her boyfriend.
Cohen said Noonkester’s outburst was a display of his impulsiveness and control issues.
“These murders were about one thing, one simple thing power and control,” Cohen said. “Noonkester was either going to exert his perceived power and control over his daughters, his wife and the rest of their family or simply put he was going to kill them.”
Noonkester received multiple consecutive sentences but will ultimately spend life in prison without the possibility of parole.
As for the two daughters he’ll be leaving behind, family and friends say they will rest easier knowing he's behind bars.
“I mean you can't find happiness in anything of losing two people tragically the way that they have,” Farias said. “But they will be very happy that he will be put away for the rest of his life.”
Cohen says Noonkester will be handed over to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
And he will most likely be taken to the intake facility at High Desert State Prison in Susanville where he will be classified before being transferred to a more permanent facility.
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