Vinn "Elise" Heath, a biological man who identifies as a woman and whose legal name is Cohen Heath, was found guilty of murder in court on Friday in the brutal slaying of Colorado Springs mother and nurse Bridget Kenner in April of 2020.
According to police, Heath partnered with a biological woman who identifies as a man, Emma Kenner, Kenner's child who goes by Kenny, in the grisly murder. The two were romantically involved and were found to have stabbed 44-year-old Kenner to death in her home. She was found deceased on April 28, 2020.
Kenner pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in January for the matricide and was sentenced to 40 years in prison. Police found out from Kenner's boyfriend that her child lived with her.
According to the affidavit, a co-worker of Kenner's contacted the police when she did not show up for work. When the officers arrived, they found Kenner’s boyfriend banging on the door with no answer.
Officers found Kenner nude in the living room with a number of puncture wounds. A bloody knife was found in the kitchen, along with bloody clothes in the basement in the laundry room.
Police found Kenner and Heath at a 7-Eleven about a mile from the crime scene, whereupon they were immediately taken in for questioning. According to the police report, authorities believe the then-teens spent weeks planning out Bridget Kenner's murder, KKTV reports.
Prior to this crime, Heath had been arrested for cruelty to animals. Heath admitted to having homicidal urges, and to having killed a cat. Heath had been released on bond for that cat-killing, but that bond was revoked.
Heath told investigators the cat was taken to a drainage ditch near his home so the murder could have no witnesses. Heath allegedly stabbed the cat several times before placing it into a backpack to muffle any sound the cat might make.
According to arrest papers Heath then took the cat out of the backpack and decided to cut off a front paw because he wanted to make a necklace out of it. Court papers state Heath skinned the cat and put it in a Ziploc bag and placed the paw in a glass jar.
Andy Ngo previously reported that "Cohen 'Vinn Elise' Heath's social media footprint showed a desire for self-harm, hatred of Trump supporters and also disturbing sexual posts."
During the questioning process, Kenner had a guardian and biological parent present in the room for the interview. When an officer left the room, a recording captured Kenner noting that Bridget was the victim and that she had been stabbed to death, despite police never mentioning anything about a stabbing.
It was also discovered that Kenner had recent wounds that indicated self-harm.
During a later interview with police, Heath told the police that Heath had been asleep in the basement room of the house when Heath was awoken by screaming. Heath said the voices of Kenner pleading with her child not to kill her were audible in the room. Heath said Heath decided to hide in the basement instead of going upstairs.
Heath told police that the victim caught her child self-harming, which led to an argument and to the stabbing. Heath told police that Kenner’s limp body was visible and that Kenner had started wiping down doorknobs and counters but eventually gave up and covered Kenner with a blanket. Heath and Kenner left after someone came to the front door, presumably Kenner’s boyfriend.
Kenner told police regarding that slaying that during while stabbing Bridget, Kenner "felt like a robot" and that the murder plot originated with Heath. Kenner said "it wasn’t really a plan, because I didn’t want to do it."
Defense attorney Corinne Melusky said that Heath had isolated Kenner from Bridget and their family, had introduced Kenner to drugs, and would "withhold love" when Kenner didn't comply with Heath's demands. Kenner, the defense argued, was "under [Heath's] thumb, totally manipulated by this person."
Kenner claimed to be a "prime candidate for a pawn in someone else's demented game" at the time, which came after a difficult divorce between Bridget and Kenner's father in 2017. Kenner reportedly has struggled with having butchered Bridget, saying that the murder has been "more of a burden I can possibly carry."
"I wish I could tell her how sorry I am, how much I love and miss her. … I can never bring my mom back, I can never reverse the confusion I caused her," Kenner said. "I am not this crime, and I don't want death to define me in everyone's hearts."
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