News

Silverdale woman gets more than 31 years in child torture case

After earlier pleading guilty to torturing a child, Viviana Gunn, 34, of the 1100 NW Cloninger Court in Silverdale, was sentenced today in Kitsap County Superior Court to 375 months in prison, or just over 31 years.

Gunn's husband, Brandon Pernell Gunn, 27, has also pled guilty in the case that has made headlines around the world. He is set to be sentenced Jan. 17 and faces a range of 273 months to 362 months in prison.

"It's less time than what she was looking at because she had a felony point going into this," said Deputy Prosecutor Cami Lewis.

Lewis said both of the Gunns got new lawyers after pleading guilty and expressed a desire to change their pleas. Lewis' understanding, though, is that the new attorneys advised them both against doing so.

Lewis said she spent about 20 minutes during sentencing walking Judge Anna Laurie through all of the assaults, torture and everything else the victim had to endure in this case.

"I specifically remember (Judge Laurie) saying what Viviana and Brandon had done was evil and she was happy to get Viviana out of our county,"

Gunn made no statement to the court prior to sentencing.

The child torture case unfolded when Bremerton police officers found a 13-year-old boy sleeping on a bus bench in Bremerton. They noticed that he had numerous injuries that needed immediate medical attention and he was transported to Harrison Memorial Hospital where he was treated for numerous cuts and abrasions as well as infections in his hands and feet. The boy told police that he sustained the injuries while living in the Cloninger Court home of his brother and aunt.

Kitsap County Sheriff's Office deputies took over the investigation and noticed numerous injuries on the boy's head, face, chest, abdomen, back, arms, legs, hands and feet.

"These injuries vary from fresh open wounds to wounds that are in the process of healing," a police report states. "The injuries appear to be caused by blunt objects, cords and other sharp objects."

The boy told deputies that he moved to his brother's home from out. He said that the abuse began after the school year ended when he was accused of stealing something and was hit repeatedly with an electrical chord. He said the assaults became frequent over time and usually occurred in the garage at the home, but also took place in the cellar and his bedroom. He said that Brandon and Viviana called the assaults "sessions" that were conducted as punishment "for not doing chores or any other reason they chose."

"During the last 'session' his hands, feet and mouth were duct taped after they found out he snuck out of the cellar (after being sent there as punishment) to get some food when no one was home," according to a probable cause statement. "He was then beaten with the baseball bat after being duct taped. He was able to remove the duct tape from his mouth with his fingers and chew the duct tape off that banded his hands together. He then forced the cellar door open and fled. He remained on the streets for approximately two weeks before being contacted by law enforcement."

Police say that the boy described some of the abuse that he endured at the hands of Brandon and Viviana, to include the following:

• He was sent to the garage where his arms and legs were duct taped to a chair as well as tape being placed over his eyes and mouth to prevent him from seeing or screaming. He was then hit in the head, torso and legs with a baseball bat and metal bars, losing consciousness at times.

• Brandon and Viviana had put his hand in a bench vise, tightened the vise jaws and drove a nail through his hand with a hammer. The boy stated he could see the nail coming through the other side of his hand. A knife was also heated and placed near where the nail was driven in.

• His hands were duct taped over his head to vertical bar and then he was hung from a wooden rafter in the garage and beaten with the bats and metal bars.• Viviana would heat up a knife with a lighter and started cutting him with it.

• During another "session" Brandon used a large construction staple gun and punished him by inserting staples into his right palm numerous times.

• A hammer was used to strike his feet repeatedly.

• Zip ties were sometimes used to secure his arms to the chair prior to a beating.

• The boy was forced to strip down naked and stay in a portable dog kennel on two occasions for two to three days at a time with no food or water. The kennel was secured with a ratchet style tie down to prevent him from escaping.

• The boy was forced to stay in the dark, cold wine cellar for four days and when he escaped to get some food he was punished by having his hands, mouth and eyes duct taped and then beat with a baseball bat and struck on his penis multiple times. The boy was only given a bottle of water and a pill from Brandon each day. He stated the pill made him tired and sleepy.

• Viviana would use a spray bottle of alcohol and spray it directly on his open wounds to get a reaction from him.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Jul 18 edition online now. Browse the archives.