Law & Justice

Man who murdered Western student in 2019 sentenced to life

Convicted of first-degree aggravated murder, first-degree burglary
October 5, 2022 at 4:38 p.m.

By CDN Staff

Rigoberto Galvan, 25, was sentenced on Monday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2019 murder of his girlfriend at an apartment in Bellingham, the Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney's Office said.

Galvan was convicted of first-degree aggravated murder and first-degree burglary, said Ben Pratt of the Prosecutor's Office. 

Galvan shot Stephanie Brenner-Cresswell, a 22-year-old Western Washington University student, in an apartment on the 900 block of 20th Street. A witness initially called 911 to report that Galvan had entered the apartment, possibly from a second-story balcony. Galvan pulled out a handgun and told the witness “Run because she is going to die.” The witness, while running away, heard gunshots and yelling.

Brenner-Cresswell was found dead at the scene. Galvan was arrested on Aug. 14, 2019.

Brenner-Cresswell was a senior studying anthropology at Western, according to a Western Today article. Her death was “a result of intimate partner violence,” the article states.

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