PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland man was sentenced Thursday to 15 years in prison for the 2009 killing of Assistant Federal Public Defender Nancy Bergeson in a case that baffled Portland detectives for a decade.
Christopher Williamson, 29, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and burglary, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
Williamson was arrested in 2019 after a covert jailhouse recording caught an inmate bragging about his involvement in the crime to another inmate, producing the unexpected breakthrough.
Bergeson, 57, surprised Williamson and Justin Panek when they broke into her house and she was home. Williamson put her in a chokehold and suffocated her, according to court records.
Panek, accused of burglary in the case, was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison for multiple crimes including the burglary, according to Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill.
Panek was 18 at the time of Bergeson’s killing and Williamson was 19.
Bergeson’s daughter, Jamie Lyon, now 33, said her mother’s violent death was devastating and “senseless.”