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Where Is Justin Cornell Now?

October 1, 2020
4 min read

Investigation Discovery’s ‘The Killer Beside Me: Pressure Point’ chronicles the gruesome story of how a Virginia woman, a 43-year-old massage therapist, Brianna Armstrong, disappeared before work in May of 2015, only to be found weeks later – dismembered, stuffed into several trash bags, and dumped in a swamp. Within a month, the authorities found the perpetrator and charged Justin Keith Cornell in connection with Brianna’s murder. He was her co-working, her ex-boyfriend, and the last person to have had a word with her. A lot of information about their relationship and her death came to light following this. And now, if you’re wondering where Justin is today, you’ve come to the right place.

Who Is Justin Cornell?

Back in 2015, Justin Cornell was a licensed massage therapist in three states with over ten years of work experience and had a stable job at a day spa called Knuckles ‘N’ Knots. He met Brianna while working there, and in December of 2014, began their romantic relationship. As per some records, they broke up in February of 2015, only to resume a platonic yet close friendship. On May 7 of that same year, the Thursday before Mother’s Day, Brianna went to Justin’s apartment at around 9 p.m. to have dinner and drinks with him and his neighbor. The neighbor says that he saw Brianna leave Justin’s apartment at 11 p.m., which was the last time that anyone ever saw her alive. At 11:30, she sent her ex a text of a picture with two guns, captioned, “Bri need this,” referring to herself.

On May 31, 2015, when Brianna’s dismembered remains were discovered, the investigators canvassed the entire area for evidence. There, they found a receipt with Justin’s name on it, some pieces of latex gloves, and underwear. With his name almost literally written near a dead body, the investigators had enough to search his home. At his property, they found blood matching that of Brianna’s on the carpet, the same brand of trash bags that were used to dump her body, a box of latex gloves, and the same brand of underwear. They also noticed that he lived almost next to the shopping center where Brianna’s car was found abandoned. It was too much to just be a coincidence, and so, on June 10, 2015, he was charged with second-degree murder for the death of Brianna Armstrong.

Where Is Justin Cornell Today?

Image Credit: WAVY-TV

When Justin was arrested, he was denied a bond because of the heinous nature of his crime. And when his case finally went to court in 2016, he and his defense team maintained and argued his innocence. They pointed out that all the evidence against him was circumstantial and that there was no physical proof or witness that could directly tie him to the murder. Then, they went as far as to shift the blame to Brianna’s husband, Corey Creek, saying that he had a motive because she had cheated on him. Even though the prosecutors could not give a “who, what, where, and why” on what truly happened to Brianna, the jury saw that everything pointed towards Justin and found him guilty of second-degree murder.

Therefore, in November of 2016, Justin was sentenced to 40 years in prison – the maximum sentence for his charge. Before that happened, though, Justin told the judge that he was innocent and hoped to one day be exonerated. The judge, on the other hand, said that he had “no doubt” that Justin committed this “horrific” crime and deserved to be punished for it. Even the supreme court upheld this conviction. And so, today, Justin Keith Cornell, at the age of 43, remains behind bars. As per records, he is currently incarcerated at the Lawrenceville Correctional Center in Brunswick County, Virginia, where he will stay until his release date of April 4, 2050.

Read More: How Did Brianna Armstrong Die?

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