News Update!!: San Bernardino, CA: Former Marine sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murder of Erin Corwin.
According to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, former United States Marine, 27 year old Christopher Brandon Lee, was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 in San Bernardino, California for the murder of 19 year old Erin Corwin in August 2014.
Earlier this month, Christopher Brandon Lee, was found guilty of first-degree murder of Erin Corwin on Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 in San Bernardino, California.
The Christopher Brandon Lee had initially pleaded not guilty to killing Erin Corwin, but during that trial, Christopher Brandon Lee shocked a San Bernardino County Courtroom when he admitted to strangling Erin Corwin and pushing her head-first down an abandoned mine shaft in the Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree National Park.
Friends told investigators that Erin Corwin believed she was pregnant and that Christopher Brandon Lee might be the father.
Christopher Brandon Lee testified in court that he didn’t kill Erin Corwin because of the pregnancy situation, but because Erin Corwin confessed near the mine shaft to molesting his daughter.
“I made the decision to kill her,” Christopher Brandon Lee testified adding,”I was controlled by the anger. The hate I felt that day. It was something I never want to experience again.”
Christopher Brandon Lee said he approached Erin Corwin from behind and strangled her for at least 5 minutes with a garrote made up of 2 pieces of rebar and a cord, and later dragged her body to the mine shaft and pushing her.
When prosecutor Sean Daugherty asked Christopher Brandon Lee if he’s the person who strangled Erin Corwin, he replied, “Yes, I am.”
For nearly 2 months, people searched for Erin Corwin and prosecutors said Christopher Brandon Lee told detectives he had no idea where Erin Corwin was.
“I was afraid to tell the truth and thinking I could get away with it. I was still really angry at the time, I didn’t want anyone to find her then. I’m not angry anymore and I’m no longer scared to tell the truth. This is something that I have to do. I have to let everyone know what I did and accept the punishment that they give me for it,” said Christopher Brandon Lee.
Erin Corwin was last seen Saturday, June 28th, 2014, and her husband, a Marine corporal, reported her missing the next day when she did not return home from a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park.
Erin Corwin was reportedly 3 months pregnant when she disappeared.
The search for Erin Corwin spanned 300 square miles of the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County, California with hundreds of rescue workers and volunteers searched in helicopters and on the ground, as well as dive teams searched bodies of water in the area.
Forensic exams of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices led detectives to a mine shaft outside Joshua Tree National Park on Saturday, August 16th, 2014.
** Pictures from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. **