The family of slain internet star Bianca Devins appeared in an Upstate New York courtroom Tuesday and read emotional impact statements as they confronted the Instagram influencer’s murderer during his sentencing.
Devins was 17 years old when she was killed in July 2019 by Brandon Clark, 22, who broadcasted the aftermath of her death on Instagram. Clark slit her throat and posted the grisly images on Instagram, CNN reported. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for stabbing her to death last year, and on Tuesday he was sentenced to 25 years behind bars, according to the New York Post.
Before the judge announced Clark’s sentencing, members of the victim’s family, including her younger sister Olivia, her mother, Kim, and grandfather, Frank Williams, all gave impact statements.
Olivia Devins, who is now the same age as her sister was at the time of her murder, said she has difficulty meeting new people and said once the photos circulated online, the traumatic experience was exasperated by people sharing the images on social media.
“Many random people set their profile pictures as my sister’s death photo and went on my page knowing I would, without a doubt, see it,” Olivia said. “The picture, to this day, continues to be sent to me, but I now have all of my social media accounts deleted.”
The images remained on Instagram for 24 hours before they were taken down, the Post reported.
Kim Devins told the judge that her daughter’s killer needs to be behind bars “for the rest of his life,” according to CNN.
Prosecutors have argued that Clark planned Devins’ murder for weeks, according to Syracuse.com.
The family matriarch said that Clark continues to display no regard for life even after his arrest.
“He posted on social media and made phone calls to family and friends instead of getting Bianca life-saving help,’’ Kim Devins told the court in her impact statement. “While in jail awaiting trial, Brandon wrote a letter to a friend and stated that he murdered Bianca because he couldn’t handle the thought of her walking out of his life. He bragged about murdering my child by writing a ‘transcript’ of the murder video with personal notes about what it was like to take a life.”
Frank Williams echoed his daughter’s sentiments and added that Clark should never be granted parole, saying “you can be certain that our family will represent Bianca and will ask the reviewing board to consider.”
Clark had met Devins two months before her death on Instagram, according to CNN. The murder occurred just after the pair went to a concert in Queens, New York, according to the Post, which also reported that the pair were just friends and not romantically involved.
Following the murder, Clark called 911 and confessed to the crime, per the Post, and also cut his own throat and posted those images online.
Clark then apologized to the family saying, “I hate myself for what I did to her. I don’t understand how I could do something like that. It disgusts me.”