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March 01. 2013 9:33PM

Nashua man gets 35 years to life for 2010 stabbing death


NASHUA - Brandon Nye will likely be in his 50s before he's eligible for parole, but the judge who sentenced him Friday to 35 years to life for the murder of Brandon Gaudette told Nye that he was fortunate to still have a chance at a life.

Nye, 22, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for the 2010 killing of Gaudette, who was dating Nye's ex-girlfriend Erin Allwood at the time of the killing.

According to Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeff Strelzin, on Aug. 23, 2010, Gaudette, 21, was visiting Allwood, 16, at her parent's home in Nashua when Nye entered the home and attacked Gaudette with a knife from the family's kitchen.

Nye stabbed Gaudette eight times in the chest and then attempted to slit his own wrists, said Strelzin. Nye then used Allwood's cell phone to call his father, apologizing for his actions and admitting that he had killed Gaudette. Allwood was able to take back the phone and the knife and call police, Strelzin said.

Though the murder happened more than two years ago, the case came to a standstill while Nye underwent treatment for schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder.

In October, Judge Jacalyn Colburn ruled Nye competent to stand trial. However, prosecutors and Nye's public defender Ed Cross were able to reach a negotiated plea deal to avoid a trial.

On Friday, Nye pleaded guilty to knowingly committing second-degree murder and accepted the sentence of 35 years to life.

Cross said that despite the fact that before the murder his client's mental health conditions had been misdiagnosed and not treated, Nye wanted to take responsibility for the murder.

Before being sentenced, Nye read a brief statement to the court, apologizing to Gaudette's family.

"I regret what happened every day of my life," he said. "I have come to value life, family and love more than I ever have. I'm sorry I took that away from you."

Colburn told Nye that, while she recognized he had a difficult upbringing and significant mental health problems, she reminded him that he may still have a chance at a future - due to the generosity of the Gaudette family and the state - and his victim will never have that opportunity.

"I hope the time you spend in prison will be productive for you," she said, and advised Nye to come out of his incarceration ready to honor Gaudette by being a good citizen.

Following the hearing, Strelzin said that the plea agreement spared the Gaudette family and Erin Allwood from having to endure what could have been a lengthy trial.

When asked whether the Gaudettes believe that Nye is truly remorseful, Strelzin said that ultimately, how Nye feels is irrelevant.

"It just doesn't really matter to them," he said. "They recognize that the defendant stepped up to plate to accept responsibility for his actions, but still their son was brutally murdered."

Strelzin said Gaudette's family, which supported the plea agreement, was satisfied with the outcome of the case.

"They didn't want to go through any more of this and they didn't want Erin to have to testify," he said.

Due to New Hampshire's truth in sentencing laws, it's unlikely that Nye will be released from prison before the 35-year minimum sentence has been served. He may apply for release after 20 years, but Strelzin said petitions for reduced sentences are rarely successful.


nfoster@newstote.com


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