A California man accused of killing his wife’s much younger boyfriend in August 2014 pled guilty to the murder charges, The Modesto Bee reported.
Russell Kee, 47, pleaded guilty on Dec. 22 to the second-degree murder of Kyle Hoffman, 24, and was sentenced to 18 years to life in state prison.
“This case is a tragedy for everyone involved,” says Kee’s attorney, Douglas Maner, to People magazine. “Russell is looking forward to moving on with his life and do the best he can and get paroled at the earliest possible opportunity. He will be eligible for parole in 15 years.”
Kee reportedly killed Hoffman while he was waiting in a car outside Kee’s apartment complex on Aug. 10, 2014. At the time Hoffman dated Kee’s wife, Brandye, and lived with Brandye in 2012.
After shooting Hoffman, Kee got into the car and drove away with the body, an eyewitness reportedly told investigators.
Kee abandoned the car and body in an alleyway, and he was arrested after he jumped into a swimming pool to try to wash Hoffman’s blood off his clothes. He was cuffed while soaking wet.
Hoffman knew the Kees because he played basketball with their son in junior high school, Hoffman’s mother said. She had known that the pair had been involved in the past, but the mother was not aware that the two were in a relationship again.
Hoffman’s brother painted the relationship in a positive light.
“She helped my brother mature and grow,” said Kyle Hoffman’s brother, Eric Hoffman, to the Bee. “You have to judge someone based on the quality of their actions, and I can only judge her on the actions she has shown me.”
But Police had been investigating whether Brandye had slept with Hoffman while he was a minor, Dos Palos Police Chief Barry Mann said.
Russell Kee “was a doormat throughout most of his relationship and was a victim of a lot of abuse, and as a result he snapped,” Maner said. “The love he has for his children and the love they have for him speaks loudly.”
“She went back and forth between the two of them,” Maner said, about Brandye. “It is your classic love triangle. It is a really horrible thing that happened.”
Kyle Hoffman’s dream was to become a police officer, Mann told People.
“He wanted to impress people he respected,” Mann said. “He wanted to be seen as good. When you let him know that he disappointed you in any way, it kicked him in the teeth pretty good. He always tried to work to make amends. He didn’t run from you. He came back and tried to address it and find a way to make it better.”
“It is a tragedy all the way around,” he added. “When you hear a person committed such an act that you would never have guessed it would ever happen and the last person you think it would happen to, you get a double shock. How their lives collided and ended in such a way.”
[Image: Modesto Police Department]