MGQ murderer to serve life

Brian Rooney, the convicted murderer of UVM senior Michelle Gardner-Quinn, was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Friday, Oct. 18. The sentencing came over two years after the murder of Gardner-Quinn, who disappeared after being seen with Rooney in Burlington on Oct. 7, 2006. Gardner-Quinn’s body was discovered by a hiker in Huntington, Vt. almost a week later. Rooney was linked to the murder through DNA evidence on the body and found guilty of murder on May 22, 2008.Despite the conviction, Rooney maintained his innocence during the sentencing. “I am so sorry for what you are going through, but I am not the man responsible for this tragic event,” Rooney said to Gardner-Quinn’s parents, according to The Burlington Free Press.”The evidence established your guilt … beyond all reasonable doubt,” Judge Michael Kupersmith said, according to The Burlington Free Press.After offering his condolences to Gardner-Quinn’s family, Kupersmith addressed Rooney for several minutes, calling Rooney the worst criminal he had ever known.”You are the lowest of the low,” Kupersmith said during the sentencing, according to The Burlington Free Press, “I leave you to the fate you so rightly deserve.”Rooney’s sentence was the most severe sentence possible under Vermont law, although, according to The Burlington Free Press, Michelle Gardner-Quinn’s mother encouraged Vermonters to consider reinstating the death penalty.