REDDING — An Oregon man convicted of murdering a longtime Sonoma County resident and nearly killing her husband in 2012 was sentenced to life in prison without parole this week.
But convicted killer Cody Nash wasn't sentenced until his uncle, retired Apple Blossom School Principal Bob Watson, aided by his therapist, wished him a "grand life in hell."
Nash, 32, was convicted last month of first-degree murder in the slaying of his aunt, former Sonoma County resident Candace Watson, and of attempted murder for the attack on his uncle.
Superior Court Judge William Gallagher, who said the lack of remorse shown by Nash left him "breathless," said he wished he could have sentenced Nash to more than life in prison without parole.
"It was stunning to me that you have exhibited no remorse for what you did," he said at Monday's hearing.
It was that lack of remorse that Shasta County Deputy District Attorney Curtis Woods seized upon, citing a brief statement Nash provided to probation officials.
In that statement, Woods said, Nash said he had killed "someone," but he could not control his actions when he attacked his relatives.
"He hasn't a care in the word for these individuals," Woods said, saying Nash viciously attacked his aunt and uncle with the same type of thought one might have in stepping on a bug.
Candace Watson grew up in Santa Rosa and met her husband, Bob, while volunteering at Apple Blossom School in Sebastopol. The couple left Sonoma County in 1996 and moved to Redding the following year when Bob Watson became superintendent of the Grant School District.
Bob Watson, who can barely talk above a whisper and cannot walk, had therapist Patricia Bay read a statement on his behalf.
Watson recounted his life-threatening — and life-changing — injuries, as well as the loss of his cherished wife, who he described as his "bright, shining star."
"How could you betray the love and trust of someone who raised you?" Watson asked in his statement. "Candace always loved you and you betrayed that by killing her. You are a horrible and despicable person and you deserve to die."
Nash, who lived in Hillsboro, attacked Bob and Candace Watson on June 8, 2012, in their Redding home during a visit.
He slit his aunt's throat twice with a butcher knife and then attacked and cut the throat of his uncle.
Bob Watson, who said Nash robbed him of his wife and of his life, managed to stagger to a neighbor's home after the attack.
Senior Deputy Public Defender Mike Horan has said his client, who was diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia, could not control his actions and had an "explosion of violence" upon his relatives after failing to commit suicide by drinking whiskey and cough syrup.
Horan said his client's conviction would be appealed.
"That's standard procedure," he said.