A man arrested on suspicion of fatally shooting his wife's boyfriend in Modesto in August 2014 has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, the Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office reports.
Russell Kee, 47, of Modesto made the plea Dec. 22 in the death of Kyle Hoffman, 24, of the Merced County city of Dos Palos. Judge Ricardo Cordova sentenced Kee to spend 18 years to life in state prison.
Kee shot and killed Hoffman while the younger man was sitting in his car in front of an apartment complex on Lakewood Drive in Modesto on Aug. 10, 2014. Kee and his wife shared an apartment in the complex, Modesto police investigators said at the time.
Police said Hoffman had a "dating relationship" with Kee's wife, Brandye. Public records indicate Hoffman and Brandye Kee lived together in 2012.
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An eyewitness saw Russell Kee do the shooting and then drive away in the car with the body, the DA's Office said in a news release. The car and Hoffman’s body were later found in an alleyway off Rose Avenue.
Kee was arrested after officers found him nearby, soaking wet. Kee had jumped into a swimming pool in an attempt to wash the victim’s blood off his clothing, and had dumped most of his clothing into garbage cans, according to the DA's Office.
Kyle Hoffman's mother, Suzanne Hoffman, said shortly after the shooting that her son had known the Kees for several years after playing basketball with their son in junior high. The Kees had lived in Dos Palos.
Dos Palos Police Chief Barry Mann confirmed after the homicide that there had been an investigation into whether Brandye Kee had a sexual relationship with Hoffman while he was a minor.
Hoffman said she knew her son and Brandye Kee had a relationship in the past, but he had not told her the two were seeing each other again.
Deputy District Attorney Meghan Anderson prosecuted the case, the DA's Office said, saying Kee pleaded guilty "due to the overwhelming evidence against him."