Top Ten #3: Sentence
in Edmunds murder
It took three years, but Anthony Christensen, 39, a criminal with a long and violent history, was finally sentenced to life in prison for brutally killing his girlfriend Kammy Mae Edmunds on the night of March 31, 2017 at their home in Mt. Pleasant.
After beating his girlfriend to death during a drunken argument, Christensen then tried to stage her death to make it appear that Kammy Mae died from injuries sustained in a car crash.
Christensen was booked into the Sanpete County jail on first-degree murder charges and second-degree obstruction of justice charges. He was held on $500,000 bond. He claimed he was innocent of all charges and his case was scheduled for trial.
He spent a couple of years in jail refusing a plea-negotiation until Jan. 21, when several dozen people gathered in 6th District Court to witness Christensen plead guilty to murder and obstruction of justice.
“For the first time ever, he admitted to it all,” said Sanpete County Attorney Kevin Daniels said. “He knows he did it. He should have accepted responsibility for it right after it happened.”
“This is a big deal, and it’s important for our office because one of our primary duties is to get justice for victims,” said Daniels. “This is a very victim-driven case, and it’s been on the forefront of my mind for almost three years.”
While in jail on homicide charges, Christensen was accused of assaulting two other inmates. A jury found him guilty of the assault charge and he was also found guilty of being a habitual violent criminal. According to Daniels, Christensen is one of only three or four offenders in the state who has been categorized as a habitual violent offender.
“This is just his MO,” Daniels said. “When someone does something he doesn’t like, he beats them. For some reason or another he never learned conflict resolution.”
Christensen was sentenced on March 4 by Judge Marvin Bagley in a 6th District standing room only courtroom.
In a plea-negotiation, Christensen was given two 5-years-to-life sentences for murder and
assault by a habitually violent offender, both first-degree felonies, and 1-15 years for obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony.
The court heard from Edmunds’ mother, sisters, brother, aunt and cousin. Each of them recounted how Christensen’s actions had torn Kammy Mae from them. Each of their victim statements to the court held a strong theme—that nothing will ever be the same again after the tragic loss of Kammy Mae.
Prior to delivering his sentence and bringing this tragic three-year chapter to a close, Judge Bagley spoke to Christensen.
“I suspect we’ll never know the full story, but we do know enough to know what you did was horribly wrong,” Bagley said. “The sad thing Mr. Christensen is you’ve done horrible things in the past and you haven’t learned from them. I hope this is different, not that it will matter though. The Board of Pardons will likely keep you there until you die or until they are convinced that you cannot harm anyone else.”
Bagley went on to say that, in a case like this, there is never just one victim. It wasn’t just Kammy Mae. It was her children, her siblings, her mom, her friends.
“Mr. Christensen, you are the cause of all this hurt,” the judge said. “There is no justification for it. There is nothing anyone should say to you to make you feel better. It was wrong, it shouldn’t have happened. “
Finally, Bagley turned to the crowded courtroom and addressed Christensen’s living victims.
“The best way to honor Kammy Mae’s name is to live the best life you can,” Bagley said. “Mr. Christensen is an abuser, and abusers want control over people. If you go about your life letting him control you going forward then he is going to continue to abuse you. But if you don’t allow that and go forward being the best you can be, you will be honoring Kammy Mae’s name, and you’ll be sticking it in the eye of Mr. Christensen.”