MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Madison man who gunned down a former co-worker he blamed from his firing from a grocery store must serve at least 40 years in prison, a judge decided.
Christopher O’Kroley, 26, received an automatic life sentence in Dane County court on Friday, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. O’Kroley had pleaded guilty to first-degree intentional homicide for killing Caroline Nosal, 24, in February outside the Metro Market.
O’Kroley killed Nosal the day after he was fired from the store. O’Kroley blamed Nosal for his firing after she complained to management that he was harassing her.
Even if O’Kroley is granted parole in 2056 when he is first eligible, Circuit Judge William Hanrahan said he still won’t leave prison. O’Kroley would then start serving another five years for shooting at a Madison police officer as she tried to arrest him the day after Nosal’s death.
In sentencing O’Kroley, Hanrahan noted that Nosal’s mother fixed her daughter’s hair for her funeral while visiting her alone at the funeral home.
“At that time she was cautioned by the funeral director (to be) careful with Caroline’s skull. It’s glued in five places,” Hanrahan said.
The judge asked O’Kroley: “How does one cope with that?”
O’Kroley did not speak in court. He was wheeled into the courtroom in a restraint chair and kept his head downward throughout the hearing.
Assistant District Attorney Andrea Raymond said before O’Kroley killed Nosal, he bought a gun while “pretending to be normal,” then texted former co-workers to find out when Nosal would be at work, on the pretext of avoiding Nosal while he cleaned out his work locker. He fired a practice shot elsewhere, and after finding that Nosal already had left the store, went home, ate pizza and watched movies before returning the next day and shooting Nosal three times in the parking lot when she left work.
“This wasn’t an off-the-cuff or even a desperate reaction,” Raymond said. “This was an execution.”
Defense attorney Adam Welch asked the judge to consider granting O’Kroley parole eligibility after 20 years. Welch argued that O’Kroley could change once he begins to receive proper mental health treatment.
In court Friday, Nosal’s father, James Nosal, said there was no punishment that would equal the loss of his daughter.
“I have seen and heard little remorse from the defendant for taking my daughter’s life,” he said.