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'I Was in the Presence of Evil,' says Dad Upon Seeing Daughter's Killer

Andrew Urdiales, the man accused of stabbing Robbin Brandley 41 times at Saddleback College, appeared for the first time inside an Orange County courtroom Friday afternoon.

Editor's note: Until the end of 2011, Patch will be republishing some of the year's biggest news stories in Mission Viejo.

It was her first glimpse of the man accused of killing her daughter 25 years ago, and it came by accident.

Genelle Reilley was in tears outside a Santa Ana courtroom Friday afternoon describing the moment she saw Andrew Urdiales, 47, who is on trial for murdering five women in California,  including Reilley's daughter Robbin Brandley. Urdiales has already been and was extradited to Orange County this week.

The couple wore all black. With husband Jack's arm around her shoulder, Genelle told reporters what she saw.

"It was by accident that I looked at him," she said. He stood in chains and an orange jumpsuit behind a chain-link window inside a courtroom. His head was shaven.

Her voice became quiet after that, and tears streaked Genelle's face.

Jack had seen Urdiales once before, in Chicago at another trial. He said he saw then what he saw Friday.

"I just felt I was absolutely in the presence of evil," he said. Today he said he felt "a chill run down my spine."

The arraignment hearing itself was postponed until Dec. 1 to give the defense time to examine the case. Urdiales could face the death penalty if convicted. But Senior Deputy District Attorney Howard Gundy refused to tip the prosecution's hand, saying the decision to seek the death penalty rested with District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.

For the Reilleys, surrounded by reporters following the postponement, it was an opportuniy to remember their daughter. They described Brandley as an ambitious young woman planning a future in business.

Brandley had been active at Saddleback College's radio station , where she was a disk jockey. She was in the midst of planning to bring the popular pop group the Thompson Twins to campus when she was killed Jan. 18, 1986.

And it was a time to remember their loss, too.

"He's alive and this beautiful girl has been dead 25 years," Genelle said. "He took away our future, our grandchildren."

Margie Fleitman October 08, 2011 at 12:55 AM
Dear Genelle & Jack Brandley...I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful, young daughter, Robbin. Although I know this is devastating, even after 25 years, I hope that there will finally be some justice achieved. The amount of time that passes does not ever make it easier, nor more acceptable. Losing a child is the worst loss that any person could ever experience and you are right when you say that this individual (I do not want to even say his name!) robbed you and your entire family of your future with her, a future with a son-in-law, and a future with your grandchildren. I know what it is like to lose a child and it really does not get better, as I am finding out. My heart goes out to you, sincerely. She sounds so lovely and was filled with unending potential. I hate the word "closure" because any conviction will never change what happened but I do hope that the individual will no longer be able enjoy the freedom that he took away from Robbin and the other four women. May you find peaceful moments in the future.
Laura Arnone October 08, 2011 at 02:06 AM
I miss Robin dearly! She was my friend and I Loved her!
Susan Hickok October 08, 2011 at 06:09 PM
Jack I am so very happy that they finally caught that bleepin bleep that took Robbin away from you both. He deserves only the worst of punishments. I wish you both much strength in the days to follow. My prayers are with you. Susan from Ralston.
Todd Spitzer October 10, 2011 at 11:48 AM
Genelle and Jack really appreciate all of the positive comments and support. As their Marsy's Law Attorney during this criminal proceedings against Urdiales, I can tell you that we will do everything legally possible to ensure that he is held accountable for Robbin's murder. Todd Spitzer (www.SpitzerLawOffice.com)
Dannee October 14, 2011 at 01:44 AM
Thses people have been through such hell for so long and will continue to be in pain for the loss of their daughter. They are and were the best of parents. They have done so much for crime victims through their pain and their advocacy. Hang strong, the system is one that grinds away at the victim and the survivor...but the wait i have no doubt will bring justice. I hope and pray some peace as well. Please know you are in the hearts of many.

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