KENOSHA — Nathan Kivi will spend the rest of his life in prison for what a judge called “this ghastly execution of innocent people.”
Kivi, 26, of Salem Lakes, was convicted Monday by a Kenosha County jury of two counts of first-degree homicide for the November 2017 shooting deaths of brothers Kenneth and Richard Samuel of Twin Lakes. The brothers were shot to death outside the Beach Bar, 402 S. Lake Ave., in Twin Lakes in the early morning hours after Thanksgiving.
“I look at this case and the bottom line I came up with is this defendant thinks he is above the law. That is the bottom line,” Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Bruce Schroeder said.
Before Schroeder announced his sentence of two consecutive sentences of life in prison without the possibility of release, the Samuels’ mother and sister spoke to the court about the impact of the brothers’ loss on their family and friends. Their sister, Megan Jurgens, told the judge her brothers were her closest friends and the best people she knew.
“When this first happened, I felt terrible for Nathan Kivi,” Jurgens said, saying she thought of Kivi’s children and his family as well as her own. “But as I’ve gotten to see him and I feel like I have gotten to know him, and I don’t feel like he has any remorse. … I feel like this person has no feelings, loves nothing but himself.”
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If Kivi does feel remorse, he declined to share his feelings to the court. Asked by the judge whether he wanted to make a statement prior to sentencing, Kivi said he did not.
The night of their death, Richard Samuel, 29, and Kenneth Samuel, 31, had met with longtime friends at the Beach Bar following family holiday dinners. Kivi was there with a group of his own friends.
There was no evidence at the trial that Kivi and the brothers had ever interacted during the night. But at bar closing time, Kivi and his friends argued with friends of the Samuels, with Kivi firing a “warning shot” with a handgun during that argument. As Kivi then drove out of the parking lot in his pickup, his rear window was shattered by what police believe was a beer bottle. Kivi stopped the truck, got out, and shot and killed the Samuel brothers, who were running across the parking lot.
At trial, Kivi had argued that he killed the Samuel brothers in self-defense. He said he believed they were running toward him to harm or kill him.
During his testimony at trial, Kivi said he believed he had a constitutional right to carry a gun despite being prohibited from doing so, both because he is a convicted felon and because he was out on felony bond with bond conditions that barred him from having a weapon.