VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — Hours after her killer was sentenced to the maximum time in prison, friends and family of Nikki Kuhnhausen gathered in a Vancouver park to remember her.
David Bogdanov was convicted of murdering Nikki after learning she was a transgender woman. During the trial he took the stand in his own defense and testified he felt “betrayed” and strangled her with a cell phone cord.
Bogdanov was found guilty of second-degree murder and a hate crime, and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Those who gathered at the vigil said Nikki finally received justice, a day that was a long time coming.
Nikki’s mom, Lisa Woods, held tight to a picture of Nikki as she left the courtroom earlier in the day. The picture was “Nikki’s unicorn panda” her mom gave to her “for Valentine’s Day when she was 15.”
The painful memories for Nikki’s family flooded back to the day in 2019 when her body was found on Larch Mountain. She was only 17.
“She was just a baby, she was just a teenager and he took her life, you know,” Woods said. “He got the maximum and that’s what he deserved.”
Those who attended the vigil echoed the relief that justice was served.
“I feel so blessed and I am so grateful,” her mother said.