Nicole Laube’s family is reacting to the guilty verdict reached by a Washington County jury Tuesday afternoon in the aggravated murder trial for her now convicted killer, Jaime Tinoco-Camarena.
“Once that verdict was read, it was a very emotional moment for me,” said Laube’s father, Rich Jones.
Jones and Laube’s husband, Chris, spoke with reporters outside the courtroom calling the guilty verdict a relief and a step toward the healing process for their family.
“Nothing will bring our daughter back, but I am so thankful that we have finally come to this moment where he’s going to face the justice that he deserves, frankly, for killing our daughter,” Jones said.
They said sitting through the trial last week and reliving her horrific death was harder than they ever imagined; a kind of secondary trauma after losing her three years ago.
“To hear what we hoped and expected to finally be said, I guess it was relief,” Chris Laube said of the verdict. “It helps the grieving process, or at least starts the next chapter of it.”
Now, the family’s focus turns to the sentencing phase of the legal process.
The same jury will return to the courtroom to begin that process Wednesday morning.
Because he was 17 years old at the time of the murder, the law does not allow Tinoco-Camarena to face the death penalty, which would normally be an option in an aggravated murder case. Instead, he’s facing life in prison and jurors will decide whether he’s allowed the possibility of parole.
Laube’s family desperately hopes he isn’t.
“Our concern is that he would never have the opportunity to hurt anyone, ever again,” Jones said.
As difficult as this process has been, Jones said he hopes to meet personally with Tinoco-Camarena’s parents to better understand how this has impacted their family, too.
“This man has not only hurt us, he’s hurt them, and so our hearts go out to his parents,” Jones said.
His parents were in the courtroom for the trial and verdict, but have never spoken publicly about their son or the case against him.
Laube’s family said they’re grateful for the support they’ve gotten over these last few years, and now, they hope they can begin to heal.
They want people to remember Nicole as a woman full of life and kindness, a wife and mother of four with a big heart who made friends wherever she went; a woman who is missed every day.
“We have received cards and calls and outpouring from all over this country and it has blessed us tremendously to find this kind of support,” Jones said. “And I know that Nicole would have been blessed to know there is this much love.”
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