Former Army soldier, Kip Lynch, 22, sentenced for killing wife, baby

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Normal Former Army soldier, Kip Lynch, 22, sentenced for killing wife, baby

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:22 am

By Yereth Rosen | Reuters – Fri, Jan 20, 2012

ANCHORAGE (Reuters) - A former Army soldier who was convicted of killing his wife and baby daughter shortly after returning from combat in Afghanistan was sentenced on Friday to 80 years in prison for the crimes.

Kip Lynch, 22, was found guilty last summer of first degree murder in the April 2010 shooting death of his 19-year-old wife Racquell and second-degree murder of their 8-month old baby, Kyirsta.

Lynch shot his wife numerous times in the back, head and neck while she was holding their infant daughter, according to police reports.

The bullets passed through her body, killing both mother and child, according to police reports. Lynch then turned the gun on himself in an apparent suicide attempt, but survived.
The bodies of his wife and baby remained in the family's Anchorage apartment for a weekend before they were discovered.

Lynch was found in critical condition but recovered.

At the two-day sentencing hearing at a state superior court, Lynch's public defender said the former soldier had served valiantly in combat but struggled with post traumatic stress upon returning home.

Lynch was stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage at the time of the incident, which occurred just two months after he returned from a year-long deployment to Afghanistan.

Judge Michael Spaan, who imposed the sentence, concluded that Lynch's combat experience affected the former military policeman's actions.

"I believe that Mr. Lynch's service in Afghanistan was a factor," Spaan said.

But Spaan said it was unclear whether the shooting was a direct result of war-related mental problems.

"I don't even know if you had post traumatic stress, if you're still suffering from it, and what impact this might have in 20 years. The science is not exact enough to answer these questions," the judge told Lynch at sentencing.

The mother of Racquell Lynch testified by telephone at the hearing, asking for a harsh sentence.

"I accept full responsibility for what happened to my wife and daughter," Lynch said in court, reading from a statement of apology. "They will forever be in my heart."

The maximum penalty that could have been imposed on Lynch was 198 years, 99 years for each murder, under Alaska law.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

_________________
Prayers for our little HaLeigh Cummings, wherever she may be!!

Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Go find somebody’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s time.
-- Dale Dauten--

Thank you RAINE for all you ARE!! I will ALWAYS hold you in my Heart!!
avatar
Wrapitup
Founder
Founder

Join date : 2009-05-28

http://victimsheartland.forumotion.com/forum.htm

Back to top Go down

Normal Re: Former Army soldier, Kip Lynch, 22, sentenced for killing wife, baby

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:35 am

Soldier guilty of murdering wife and baby
Jury found Kip Lynch likely didn't intend to kill his daughter.
By CASEY GROVE

Published: June 2nd, 2011 02:09 PM
Last Modified: January 20th, 2012 07:23 AM
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
An Anchorage jury on Wednesday found Kip Lynch guilty of murdering his young wife and infant daughter in April of 2010, about two months after the Fort Richardson soldier returned home from a year-long deployment to Afghanistan.

Police and prosecutors said he shot his 19-year-old wife Racquell as she clutched their 8-month-old daughter Kyirsta to her body. Lynch fired on his family with a .45-caliber pistol engraved to commemorate his unit's service overseas, police said. He then shot himself in the head, police said, but survived the wound.

Jurors heard testimony that Lynch's time in Afghanistan changed his personality, but blame for the killings should not rest with the Army, said prosecutor Gustaf Olson, who described the shootings as the most dire form of domestic violence.

"This is a case where Mr. Lynch is responsible for his conduct. He lost it that night," Olson said Wednesday after hearing the verdict.

"For any juror that had a family, it hits close to home," the prosecutor said.

The jury convicted Lynch of first-degree murder in Racquell's death, deciding he knowingly and intentionally ended her life. The jurors convicted Lynch of the lesser charge of second-degree murder for killing Kyirsta. That likely means they decided Lynch acted with "extreme indifference" toward the baby but didn't intend to kill her as he shot at his wife, Olson said.

'A SEALED MURDER SCENE'

Police were called to Lynch's South Anchorage apartment the morning of April 26, 2010.

Upstairs, officers found two bodies: Racquell and Kyirsta, nicknamed "Izzy." Kip Lynch was downstairs, bleeding, said a firefighter who testified on the witness stand.

Emergency responders were surprised to find the young father alive despite a gunshot through his head. The bullet severed one of Lynch's optic nerves and he remains blind in his left eye.

Crime scene investigators found no signs that anyone had forced their way into the house, a detective testified. According to a firearms expert, the bullets that killed Racquell and Kyirsta came from Lynch's gun, a pistol he'd just recently bought. It was engraved with his brigade's emblem.

"This was a sealed murder scene," Olson said. "None of the factors pointed to another person being responsible."

Lynch told investigators many of his memories had vanished after the shootings. He remembered some good times with his family, but he didn't remember details from marrying Racquell or any problems the couple had, Lynch told Anchorage Detective Mark Huelskoetter in a recorded interview played in court.

JURORS REJECT DEFENSE

Lynch claimed to have no knowledge of the shootings.

As he recovered from his head wound, he underwent neurological tests conducted by an Army psychologist. He flunked some of the memory tests, and other tests -- specifically designed to examine the validity or truthfulness of a patient's answers -- indicated Lynch might have intentionally answered questions incorrectly, according to testimony by the doctor, Christopher Graver.

Lynch's lawyer, Dan Lowery, argued during the trial that police botched their investigation, which should have shown that another person besides Lynch shot the family.

"Kip didn't shoot his family, and he didn't shoot himself," Lowery said earlier in the trial. "It was someone else who did this."

The defense attorney later presented witnesses, two sisters, who said they heard two men arguing and a woman screaming followed by the sound of gunshots and squealing tires. The testimony contrasted with statements by police, who said evidence showed only the three family members were present at the time of the shootings.

"The police never even bothered to follow up on the sisters' report," Lowery said in an email. "Nobody from (the Anchorage Police Department) ever called or came to talk to them."

In the end, the jurors did not buy Lowery's argument.

After closing arguments and jury instructions Tuesday, the jury deliberated for about two hours before going home. By 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, they had a verdict.

Lynch entered the courtroom wearing a green shirt and green pants and quickly knotted a light-colored tie around his neck. He wore his wedding ring, as he has during each day of the trial.

Terri Lynch, the murder defendant's mother, dabbed at her nose with a tissue, clearly upset. Lynch sat quietly at the table in front of her, his hands folded in a contemplative gesture, his chin resting on a point created by two fingers.

Lynch appeared to get teary just after Superior Court Judge Michael Spaan read the verdict. Olson noted that Lynch's sentencing is set for Sept. 23 and the young man looked pale as court officers led him from the courtroom.

One woman in the gallery took a close look at him. "He's just a kid," she murmured.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

_________________
Prayers for our little HaLeigh Cummings, wherever she may be!!

Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Go find somebody’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s time.
-- Dale Dauten--

Thank you RAINE for all you ARE!! I will ALWAYS hold you in my Heart!!
avatar
Wrapitup
Founder
Founder

Join date : 2009-05-28

http://victimsheartland.forumotion.com/forum.htm

Back to top Go down

Normal Re: Former Army soldier, Kip Lynch, 22, sentenced for killing wife, baby

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:45 am

Alaska jury convicts soldier Kip Lynch of killing wife, baby daughter
By Edecio Martinez Topics Daily Blotter

Spc. Kip Lynch and his wife Raquell (Credit: Personal Photo)

(CBS/KTVA/AP) ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A military police officer was convicted Wednesday of killing his wife and baby two months after he returned from a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.

Pictures: Soldier kills wife, baby daughter
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Spc. Kip Lynch, 22, was convicted of murdering his 19-year-old wife, Raquell, and his 8-month-old daughter, Kyirsta, in April 2010 at the family's off-base apartment in Anchorage.

According to CBS affiliate KTVA, prosecutors said after killing the two, Lynch shot himself in the head in a failed suicide attempt.

Soldiers from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson found Lynch and the two bodies three days later when he didn't report for duty.

The jury found that Lynch intended to kill his wife, but not his daughter. KTVA reports that jurors found him guilty of first-degree murder in his wife's death, and guilty to two-counts of second-degree murder in both his wife and daughter's deaths.

During the trial, the defense maintained someone else shot all three members of the Lynch family. However, the prosecution countered that the weapon belonged to Lynch, and the head wound he sustained indicated it was a suicide attempt.

Lynch, who met his wife in high school, was a military police officer from Jacksonville, Fla. He enlisted in the Army in Sept. 2007 and went to boot camp at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. He was assigned to the 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division. His unit served near the Pakistan border. Raquell Lynch moved to Anchorage in February 2010 to rejoin her husband when he returned from Afghanistan.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

_________________
Prayers for our little HaLeigh Cummings, wherever she may be!!

Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Go find somebody’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s time.
-- Dale Dauten--

Thank you RAINE for all you ARE!! I will ALWAYS hold you in my Heart!!
avatar
Wrapitup
Founder
Founder

Join date : 2009-05-28

http://victimsheartland.forumotion.com/forum.htm

Back to top Go down

Normal Re: Former Army soldier, Kip Lynch, 22, sentenced for killing wife, baby

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:53 am

Victim’s family: No anger at soldier from Jacksonville
The Atlantic Beach mother of a woman shot in Alaska says she wouldn’t press charges.

Posted: April 29, 2010 - 8:50pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
The last family photo, according to mother Christina Kulik. (Front Row) Kip, Raquell, and Kyirsta Lynch. (Back row) Derrick Lopez (Raquell's brother), Christina Kulik(mother), and Nicholas Kulik(step-dad). Family photos of Raquell Lynch, her baby Kyirsta, and husband Kip Lynch.

Just back from military service overseas, Kip returned to their home in Alaska, and has been charged with his wife and daughter's murder.

By Dana Treen

The picture pulled from the refrigerator door in an Atlantic Beach apartment shows a daddy and baby cheek to cheek in the way thousands of those moments are captured.

"Does he look upset?" Christina Kulik asks, passing the photo of her son-in-law and 8-month-old granddaughter. "Does he look like he's, 'Aw, get the kid away from me?' No."

Thursday, baffled family members of Kip Lynch and his wife Raquell were left with memories like the one caught on camera and confusion over why the 21-year-old soldier would kill his wife and daughter in what police are calling murder and an attempted suicide outside an Alaska Army base.

Kulik said her daughter and Lynch met when they were in high school and even split time living with her or with his family while they were in school. He joined the Army and was on deployment in Afghanistan while she stayed home and finished a medical business course.

She joined him at his Anchorage station when he returned in February.

On Monday police there found Raquell and Kyirsta dead and Kip Lynch gravely wounded in their apartment near Fort Richardson. All had been shot, police said.

Kip Lynch remained in critical condition Thursday and may never be able to answer police questions, said Lt. Dave Parker of the Anchorage Police Department.

"The only suspect in this case is Kip Lynch," Parker said.

As members of 19-year-old Raquell Lynch's family gathered Thursday, they said they had no rage for the soldier.

"We didn't only lose our daughter and granddaughter, we've lost our son," Kulik said.

She said she knew prosecutors would ultimately make a decision whether to charge Lynch but was clear in her feelings.

"The police asked me if I wanted to press charges against him and we said, 'Absolutely not,' " she said.

Explaining what happened in the apartment can be more difficult.

In the past few days, Raquell's brother Derrick Lopez said he has been told his brother-in-law was out with a friend on the Friday before and that the friend told Lynch that Raquell wanted to come home to Florida.

Lopez said his sister and her husband sometimes argued but physical violence was never involved.

He said his sister didn't like the Alaska snow but was otherwise happy.

"She was happy with him," he said.

Last Friday night, Lynch left his buddy and went home. Lopez said he has been told his brother-in-law was drunk.

The last contact anyone had with Lynch was a text message he sent to his friend, Lopez said.

"I'm gong home everything is fine,' " the message said.

Lopez said he believes something snapped and maybe his brother-in-law needed psychological help.

During Lynch's yearlong deployment in Afghanistan, his brigade suffered 12 combat deaths, though it is not clear if Lynch, a military policeman, saw any action, according to information from The Anchorage Daily News.

"I don't know what they go through," Lopez said. "What I don't understand why he did what he did."

Services for Raquell Lynch and her daughter will be Sunday.

The family said arrangements are being made for the bodies to be returned to Jacksonville, though Kulik said she is disappointed the Army is not paying for the return from Alaska or for the funeral.

"I feel they should have said, 'Sorry, there was an accident and she is on her way home,' " she said.

An account to help defer the expenses has been set up in Kulik's name at BB&T banks in Jacksonville.

The service is scheduled for 3 p.m. in the chapel of Cedar Bay Funeral Home, 405 New Berlin Road, Jacksonville. A reception will follow at American Legion Post 316, 1127 Atlantic Blvd., Atlantic Beach.

Read more at Jacksonville.com: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

_________________
Prayers for our little HaLeigh Cummings, wherever she may be!!

Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Go find somebody’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s time.
-- Dale Dauten--

Thank you RAINE for all you ARE!! I will ALWAYS hold you in my Heart!!
avatar
Wrapitup
Founder
Founder

Join date : 2009-05-28

http://victimsheartland.forumotion.com/forum.htm

Back to top Go down

Normal Re: Former Army soldier, Kip Lynch, 22, sentenced for killing wife, baby

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:54 am

 [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

_________________
Prayers for our little HaLeigh Cummings, wherever she may be!!

Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Go find somebody’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s time.
-- Dale Dauten--

Thank you RAINE for all you ARE!! I will ALWAYS hold you in my Heart!!
avatar
Wrapitup
Founder
Founder

Join date : 2009-05-28

http://victimsheartland.forumotion.com/forum.htm

Back to top Go down

Normal Re: Former Army soldier, Kip Lynch, 22, sentenced for killing wife, baby

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:08 am

Judge sentences Lynch to 80 years in prison

An Anchorage Superior Court judge Friday sentenced former Army Spc. Kip Lynch to 80 years in prison for killing his wife and infant daughter in April 2010, two months after returning from what soldiers in his unit testified was a hellacious tour of duty in Afghanistan.

BY CASEY GROVE; ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS
Published: 01/21/12 10:32 pm | Updated: 01/21/12 10:33 pm

An Anchorage Superior Court judge Friday sentenced former Army Spc. Kip Lynch to 80 years in prison for killing his wife and infant daughter in April 2010, two months after returning from what soldiers in his unit testified was a hellacious tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Judge Michael Spaan said the Army could've done more to help Lynch, 22, cope with suspected emotional problems brought home from war.

A jury convicted Lynch last year for the deaths of 19-year-old Racquell and 8-month-old Kyirsta. Public defender Dan Lowery said the ex-soldier has accepted the verdict even though he doesn't remember shooting Kellie and Izzy, as they were known, multiple times with a .45-caliber pistol engraved to commemorate his deployment.

Lynch was deeply affected by the year spent fighting in two of the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010, Lowery said Friday during the second day of Lynch's sentencing hearing. Judge Spaan later agreed, to a certain extent, saying Lynch's experiences were probably a factor in the killings -- not an excuse and not the only factor -- and that the voluntary treatment offered by the military wasn't enough.

"You did serve your country, and you did so honorably and well," Spaan said. "And this country may have let you down."
Could Not agree more!!

Two members of Lynch's three-soldier team -- a close-knit group of friends and part of the 4th Brigade Combat Team based at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson -- testified about their time together in Afghanistan, where they were stationed at two combat outposts near the country's border with Pakistan.

The enemy attacks came daily, said Sgt. Kevin O'Brien, starting off Friday's testimony.

"We counted it once, and we went two months getting attacked every day," O'Brien said. "There was no let-up. You weren't safe on the base, you weren't safe off the base."

A psychologist testified Thursday that Lynch might have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression from the yearlong deployment. The soldiers who spoke Friday said that among the 100 or so men they served with on that deployment, there were multiple suicides or suicide attempts afterward. Some were kicked out of the Army for drug or alcohol abuse. The Army released some for mental and emotional reasons, they said.

The soldiers showed signs of stress while in Afghanistan, O'Brien said. Some were getting gray hair or going bald, he said.

"You sort of flip a mental switch. You either live in fear of dying every day or you laugh it off. My team chose to laugh it off," O'Brien said. "We saw children killed in the crossfire, some from friendly fire, some from enemy fire. I saw more dead bodies than I can count."

"You just to shut those things out and decide to deal with it when you get home."

Lynch seemed to do fine under the stress and was a brave soldier and excellent marksman, O'Brien said. A soldier's first reaction to gunfire is usually to drop to the ground, and some want to stay there, but Lynch always jumped back up and moved forward when ordered into a firefight, he said.

"You call it 'embracing the suck.' Just going out there and embracing it. You can live with it and get stressed out by it, or you can embrace it and become it," O'Brien said. "He was somebody I wanted by my side all the time."

In one attack, rocket-propelled grenades started hitting the unit's trucks, followed by small-arms fire and mortars. Lynch had the presence of mind to find the spotter for the enemy mortars and called his commanders for help from an attack helicopter, O'Brien said.

"It saved a lot of lives by doing that," he said.

"DID YOU SEE IT COMING?"

Lynch and his wife had been in many arguments before the deployment, usually because she would put him down, O'Brien said. The fighting continued when Lynch returned from the deployment, and Lynch would say that he wanted to go back to Afghanistan.

"Her and Kip had a very volatile relationship, and she wasn't very nice to him. She was just mean," O'Brien said. "My impression was they were both young and shouldn't be together."

Lynch would shut down and just let her yell, O'Brien said. "But it didn't seem like it would result in this," he said.

O'Brien and fellow military police officer Sgt. Michael Diehm who also testified Friday were the ones who found the bodies of Lynch's wife and daughter, as well as a badly wounded Lynch, in the family's South Anchorage apartment.

"At any point after coming back, did you see it coming?" asked prosecutor Emma Haddix.

"No," O'Brien said.

"I didn't think that would happen to him. He seemed stronger than most people," Diehm testified later. "He was the most calm, laid-back guy I knew."

Diehm said that when Lynch and his wife fought, Lynch was usually the one to "disengage."

"That or he'd just take it," Diehm said.

O'Brien is headed back to Afghanistan in May, Diehm next month.

"THERE'S NO BIRTHDAY CARD TO SEND"

Later in the hearing, Racquell's mother, Christy Kulik, testified by phone from Florida. She had been unable to get to Anchorage due to flight cancellations from a winter storm in Seattle.

Kulik told Lynch that she still loved him and would continue to write him. She said her daughter would've turned 21 in 12 days.

"There's no birthday card to send or present to wrap, or phone calls," Kulik said. "Kip's entire family can visit him, write him letters. It's because of this very selfish act, by losing his temper, he took that away from me and my family."

Lynch did not deserve leniency, she said.

Prosecutor Gustaf Olson said Lynch's actions were not the result of a lack of impulse control but instead a thought-out plan to kill his wife. "This built up," he said.

After Lowery spoke, with Lynch glancing at his lawyer and blinking repeatedly, it was Lynch's turn to address the court.

"I accept full responsibility for what happened to my wife and daughter," he said, reading a letter he'd written. "I myself was once an enlisted soldier in the United States military, a guardian expected to protect them from danger, which I failed to accomplish."

"I lost a piece of my family that mattered the most. They brought love and in passing left us with pain," he said. "My love for Racquell and Kyirsta will always remain. They will forever be in my heart. I hope you all have the same mentality and outlook for yourselves but also for them."

"I'm asking for forgiveness from my entire family and friends, especially those closest to us, including this honorable court, my community and the state of Alaska."

The court then went into recess, with Spaan set to return at 1:30 p.m. with his sentence for Lynch. Under state guidelines, Spaan could've sentenced Lynch to a maximum of 198 years. State prosecutors asked for 109 years, with Lynch's defense requesting the minimum of 40.

Lynch's expression didn't change as the judge admonished him for the double murder, "a crime for no reason," Spaan said.

"You could've left, you could've walked away, you could've gotten divorced, you could've gotten a girlfriend. Those are different options that society tolerates," Spaan said. "But the option to kill them both was not an option that would be dismissed."

Prosecutors say Lynch will likely be eligible for parole when he's in his mid-70s.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

The mother sure changed her tune from not wanting to press charges and always loving him to the above statements she made.

I have No Doubt whatsoever that he most definitely suffered acute PTSD. And, if she were putting him down and he sat there and took it, went out and got drunk, this speaks Volumes.

Do I think he should be in prison? Yes. Do I pity him. Definitely.

None of us know what he went through over there..but I do agree, he could have left. I am sure he probably thought about it but evidently loved her and his child. This is one of the saddest cases I've ever read.

There are more pics of the family at the above links but I just couldn't post some of the pics of the little one. She was adorable!!! So sad!
crying

_________________
Prayers for our little HaLeigh Cummings, wherever she may be!!

Nine-tenths of wisdom is appreciation. Go find somebody’s hand and squeeze it, while there’s time.
-- Dale Dauten--

Thank you RAINE for all you ARE!! I will ALWAYS hold you in my Heart!!
avatar
Wrapitup
Founder
Founder

Join date : 2009-05-28

http://victimsheartland.forumotion.com/forum.htm

Back to top Go down

Normal Re: Former Army soldier, Kip Lynch, 22, sentenced for killing wife, baby

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum