• Rod Kackley

Kalamazoo's Suitcase Killer Apologizes!


Donnovan apologized to Aniya’s family and then found out he will spend the next 25 to 40 years in prison for murdering his girlfriend.

There was no need for a trial. Donnovan pled guilty last month to a charge of second-degree murder and escape. Kalamazoo County Judge Paul Bridenstine will issue the sentence today.

“Words will not do justice,” Judge Paul Bridenstine says as Donnovan stands before him in the prison garb he will wear every day for the next two decades.

“Justice demands that you be incarcerated for an extended period of time. And I suspect that there are a number of people in this courtroom and outside that don’t even believe that what I’m going to impose is justice.

“Horrific facts. Aniya Mack didn’t deserve any of these things,” Bridenstine also says during sentencing.

“She didn’t deserve to be hit to begin with. She didn’t deserve to be put unconscious. She didn’t deserve to be stabbed and murdered and her body didn’t deserve to be treated (like) less than garbage. And all of that happened because of you, nobody else,” Judge Bridenstine says.

But, before he finishes, the judge takes time to compliment Aniya’s family for their “grace and strength” in the face of an “unspeakable horror.”

As for Aniya’s family, Donnovan also faces them, today, manacled about his wrists and ankles, again, standard issue for anytime he’s out of prison.

“You took something dear from us,” Mack’s Aunt Linnae Rankin tells Donnovan when given an opportunity to speak her mind with a victim impact statement. “We can’t get it back. You’ve got to live with that. I hope you can.”

Donnovan apologizes for the murder “and the hurt that it caused.” Shortly after the horrendous crime, Donnovan said he was sorry for Aniya’s death in a Facebook post. Now, Donnovan says the “first thing I’ll do every day is pray for her family.”

Is that enough to satisfy Aniya’s family, the people might not be going to prison but will undoubtedly be trapped in their own personal hell, facing life every day without Aniya? So is the apology sufficient? No. Not nearly enough.

Outside the courtroom in downtown Kalamazoo, Linnae tells a WOOD-TV reporter that neither she nor Aniya’s mother have been able to forgive Donnovan for the crime of taking Aniya away from them.

Then she pauses before finishing her thoughts. “In time, I am sure I will forgive,” Linnae says to the reporter. “But not now. I am not ready.”

Kalamazoo's Suitcase Killer: A Shocking True Crime Story that will hook you from the first page! It's a compelling story of a shocking true crime, sure.

But it's also the heartbreaking story of a mother's anguish, a family's grief, a young woman's life taken, and a young man's life ruined.

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