Windsor

Windsor courtroom hears from family of Cassandra Kaake

Court hears victim impact statements from the family of Cassandra Kaake, and is shown more police tape from the LaSalle man who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in her death.

WARNING: Readers may find some content in this story disturbing

Cassandra Kaake was found dead at the scene of a house fire on Benjamin Avenue on Dec. 11, 2014. (Nancy Kaake/Facebook)

A Windsor courtroom heard directly from the family of Cassandra Kaake, and saw more videotaped statements from Matthew Brush during the third day of his sentencing hearing on Wednesday.

​Brush has pleaded guilty to second degree murder and arson charges in connection with the death of Cassandra Kaake.

I must be a psychopath or a sociopath.- Matthew Brush, in 2015 interview with police

"I did what I did ... therefore it makes me a monster," said Brush in the video, where he confessed to killing Kaake who was pregnant at the time. "I must be a psychopath or a sociopath."

Kaake's family and friends held each other and cried in the courtroom while watching Brush explain how he killed her in the 11-hour police video filmed in February 2015. 

Brush broke into Kaake's home the night of the murder, according to his confession, but was startled when Kaake arrived home earlier than he expected. 

Brush described using Kaake's shower to clean himself after being covered in her blood.

When was asked if he thought about Kaake being seven months pregnant when he killed her, Brush answered "not until after the fact."

During the interview Brush also describes breaking into multiple homes in LaSalle for women's underwear, saying "people should lock their doors." 

Recognizing the severity of the killing, Brush explained he wanted to kill himself by driving into a pole without his seatbelt on. In his interview with police, he also said he could never be forgiven for what he had done.

"If you throw me in solitary, please give me some books," he said to a police detective in the video.

At one point on his interview tape, Brush was asked if he has any message for the victim's family. 

"I would ask their forgiveness ... I wish I was dead, instead of them," he said.

In the afternoon, court heard from the family and friends of Cassandra Kaake through victim impact statements.

The victim's mother told court Kaake's siblings have all moved away because staying in Windsor would be "too much to bear."

Court also learned Kaake's dog had to be put down due to depression after Kaake's death.

Kaake's sister read from letters she wrote, saying "the world is so stupid without you in it."

Jeff Durham, the father of Kaake's unborn child, expressed bitterness that he could not attend her funeral, but Brush attended.

"I'm the one with the life sentence, except for me there's no chance of parole," said Durham.

Matthew Brush's mother, Margaret Zavitz, also addressed the court.

"This terrible tragedy has torn apart two families," she said, adding that Brush's family still loves him and will always be there for him.

Lawyers will give final submissions Friday at 10 a.m. for the sentencing of Matthew Brush.

with files from Amy Dodge

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