Family of victim speaks at crossbow murder sentencing
DETROIT LAKES, Minn. -- "You said you loved my sister, but when you love someone, you don't murder them." Those were the words spoken by Karen Woessner to the man who killed Geraldine Kading of Dent, Minn., last year when he shot two arrows into ...
DETROIT LAKES, Minn. - “You said you loved my sister, but when you love someone, you don’t murder them.”
Those were the words spoken by Karen Woessner to the man who killed Geraldine Kading of Dent, Minn., last year when he shot two arrows into her chest with a crossbow.
David Lee Stensrud, 58, of Detroit Lakes was sentenced to 38½ years in prison last week in Becker County District Court for Kading’s death. It is the maximum penalty allowed in a
second-degree murder conviction.
District Judge Joe Evans handed down the sentence, which stipulates two-thirds of the sentence will be served in prison, the other third through supervised release.
The sentence was the result of a plea agreement struck last month in which Stensrud admitted to killing Kading in his downtown Detroit Lakes apartment because he “wanted to be with her in heaven.”
Kading was 69 years old and had befriended Stensrud a few years prior to her death, along with her husband of
55 years. According to court reports, when Kading’s husband passed away, she became closer to Stensrud, a convicted sex offender who was reportedly “looking for a second chance.”
Although Kading was willing to give him that, he was unwilling to let her live when Kading’s family objected to their relationship.
He told the court he “took a bunch of pills” before taking his crossbow and shooting two arrows into her chest, then shooting an arrow into his own chest.
Stensrud claims he doesn’t remember actually killing Kading, but it’s a claim that mattered little to her grieving family. A handful of them had the opportunity to address Stensrud at the sentencing.
“In life there are two kinds of people - givers and takers,” said Kading’s son, Richard Kading, who called his mother a giver who always gave to her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren, and to her husband.
“But you, Mr. Stensrud, are a taker,” he said. “You took away her life for your own want and greediness. She wanted to be here; you took away those weddings, graduations, births of more grandchildren. I do have some peace in knowing you will eventually have to answer to God for this senseless murder and taking her away from us.”
Although Stensrud cried in his seat during some of the family’s statements, Becker County Attorney Gretchen Thilmony pointed out that throughout the case, Stensrud had continually tried to manipulate the situation through testimony designed to evoke pity.
“And he deserves no pity,” said Thilmony.