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New Insights Into Twin Lakes Double Homicide

June 5, 2019 5:15p

(WGTD)---What led a young Trevor man down a path that ended in prison with no possibility of release?

The sentencing this week of 26-year-old Nathan Kivi for the murders of two brothers in a tavern parking lot yielded new information on Kivi’s background.

In a conversation with a pre-sentence investigator for the public defender’s office, Kivi’s mother blamed the community, saying the family should’ve moved away long ago. Kivi’s father blames Wilmot High School. A neighbor of the Kivi’s said Nathan had a "horrible" childhood.

Kivi himself said both of his parents in their younger years were alcoholics, and that his father beat him on occasion. 

One of Kivi’s attorneys, Kristyne Watson, said a turning point in his life came when failed to graduate, ending any hope of joining the Marines.

Kivi eventually earned a high school equivalency diploma and certificates in welding from Gateway Technical College. He held several jobs, but often wound up getting fired.

Eventually, Kivi turned to crime—his record includes eight convictions, most of them for burglary.

On the night of the murders, Kivi had a gun in his truck, even though he was a convicted felon who on top of that was out on bond in yet another criminal case.

At Monday’s sentencing, Watson reiterated Kivi’s contention that he fired in self-defense after a verbal argument turned violent. "Nathan Kivi is not a sociapathic, cold-blooded killer," she said. "He's a young man who ended up in a terrible situation when he had to make an impossible choice. Now he's facing the consequences for the choises he made."

Prosecutor Michael Graveley contended during the trial that Kivi could've simply driven out of the parking lot without going for his gun. 

At Monday's sentencing, Graveley noted that Kivi over the years had numerous chances to turn his life around through drug treatment, counseling, probation and short periods of incarceration. 

 In handing down the life sentences without the possibility of parole, Judge Schroeder said he based his decision in part on his belief that Kivi thinks he’s above the law.

The victims, 31-year-old Ken and 28-year-old Richard Samuel reportedly had no direct interaction with either Kivi or his friends on the night in quesiton but were in the parking lot when Kivi felt threatened after someone threw a bottle at his truck.