Sentencing brings relief, but not closure, to family of Brittany Zimmermann

MADISON, Wis. — It’s a day Brittany Zimmermann’s family has relived over and over: April 2, 2008.

More than 14 years later, the family is finally getting justice for the 21-year-old they lost that day. The man who admitted to killing her inside her downtown Madison apartment, David Kahl, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of early release.

“To not have the person responsible for that behind bars — it was unacceptable to us,” Brittany’s mother Jean Zimmermann said Friday after the sentence was handed down.

Since that day in 2008, when a chaplain and two Madison Police officers came to their door with news that their daughter had been found dead in her downtown apartment, everything changed.

“What he did was unspeakable,” Jean Zimmermann said.

RELATED: David Kahl to serve life in prison with no chance for parole in Brittany Zimmermann’s murder

Jean and Kevin Zimmermann were never outspoken people, but they found their voice Friday. A family friend also helped them continue speaking, reading Kevin’s victim impact statement that was submitted to Judge Chris Taylor.

“David Kahl is nothing more than a worthless piece of skin and a killer, he has no remorse, and he’s just sad he got caught,” Kevin Zimmermann’s statement read.

Kahl apologized to the Zimmermann family Friday morning during his sentencing hearing, saying he felt horrible and he was accepting the punishment he had coming.

But for the Zimmermann family, those words didn’t mean much after nearly a decade and a half of not taking responsibility.

“He only did it so that his family and his mother, specifically, would not have to hear the gruesome details of what he did to our daughter,” Jean Zimmermann said.

RELATED: 14 years after Brittany Zimmermann’s murder, David Kahl pleads guilty

Despite Kahl’s words ringing empty, the Zimmermann family says they are finding some comfort in knowing he will be serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole — and will never hurt another person.