Breaking News
More () »

Death sentence upheld for Columbus man who killed ex-girlfriend, 4-year-old daughter

Kristofer Garrett received the death penalty in 2019 for the January 2018 deaths of Nicole Duckson and their 4-year-old daughter, Kristina.
Credit: Supreme Court of Ohio
Booking photo of Kristopher Garrett

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court unanimously upheld the death sentence of a Franklin County man who stabbed his ex-girlfriend and 4-year-old daughter to death four years ago.

Kristofer Garrett received the death penalty in 2019 for the January 2018 deaths of Nicole Duckson and their 4-year-old daughter, Kristina. 

Garrett’s lawyers appealed the sentencing, arguing that the circumstances of his childhood and mental illness should mitigate the death sentence.

Justice Patrick Fisher wrote in the court majority that Garrett’s mental health issues and lack of criminal record provided strong evidence, but not enough to justify the circumstance for his daughter’s murder.

According to the Ohio Supreme Court, Garrett was 19 years old when he met and started dating 29-year-old Nicole Duckson.

Garrett told police he felt tricked when Duckson said she could not get pregnant and then gave birth to Kristina. Additionally, Garrett said Duckson would not request child support but was ordered to pay $600 per month.

According to the Supreme Court, Garrett said he wasn’t allowed to visit his daughter until he made additional payment and met other requirements.

On Jan. 5, 2018, Garrett said he became angry, drank multiple shots of liquor, drove to Duckson’s neighborhood in Columbus and waited for her.

When Duckson left her residence, Garrett said he just started stabbing her as she yelled “[P]lease, I’m sorry!” He said he felt she was not sorry because “they had been in this situation too many times.”

Kristina ran out screaming. Garrett admitted to police that he killed his daughter because she saw him stab her mom.

At the time of their deaths, Garrett denied knowing anything. He confessed two days later that after leaving work around 6 a.m., he received an email about his delinquent child support and that he could face jail time for not paying.

Garrett was charged with three counts of aggravated murder and one count of tampering with evidence.

Garrett pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the murder of his daughter and not guilty to the other charges.

During the trial, a forensic psychologist testified that Garrett was diagnosed with “reactive attachment disorder of infancy and or early childhood” when he was 13 and had a rough childhood.

Additionally, he testified that while Garrett was “severely deranged” at the time he assaulted Duckson, he was likely aware that what he was doing was against the law. The forensic psychologist said that Garrett was insane at the time of his daughter’s murder.

Garrett was convicted of all counts and received the death sentence for his daughter’s murder. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for Duckson’s death.

CrimeTracker 10: Recent Coverage ⬇️

Before You Leave, Check This Out