Gilberto Nunez case: Judge has harsh words for dentist at sentencing

"Tragically and perhaps pathologically, you believe that society's rules do not apply to you," said judge

In May 2016, Kingston, New York, dentist Gilberto Nunez went on trial for the 2011 murder of his best friend, Tom Kolman.

A jury found Nunez not guilty of murder, but guilty of two forgery charges related to possession of fake CIA documents. Later that year, another jury found him guilty of several charges of insurance fraud related to a fire in a building he owned next to his dental practice. And a month later, a third jury found him guilty of lying on a pistol permit application.

Gilberto Nunez at his sentencing

Gilberto Nunez in court for his sentencing

Nunez’s defense attorney submitted 130 letters from supporters asking for leniency, but Ulster County Judge Donald Williams was unmoved:

“And I have read each and every one of those submissions (picks up book of letters), 130 single-single spaced, detailed letters,” the judge addressed Nunez, picking up a book of letters. “Those 130 people were not present for the three separate trials. This court was.”

“ …these trials demonstrated Gilberto Nunez is an individual who was consumed, consumed by an illicit affair, willing to do absolutely anything, anything at all, to promote his prurient interests. …I have a visual that is indelibly marked in my mind of those roughly six hours of some of the most aggressive, accusatorial interrogation … accusing you of murdering your best friend.”

“And what struck this court … was how eerily calm you were through this interview,” the judge continued.

“But most alarming, indeed chilling to this court, was in the face of hearing all of the proof that unequivocally established your guilt of all of these 12 counts …  you continue to deceive, manipulative and distort the facts.  …Tragically and perhaps pathologically, you believe that society’s rules do not apply to you.  …Because you’ve demonstrated no remorse, I see no chance in rehabilitation.”

In February 2017, Judge Williams sentenced Nunez to two to seven years in prison for the charges from all three trials.