OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR)- A year and a half after a 52-year-old woman was violently attacked in the Northpark Mall, her attorney says justice has finally been served.
Mall surveillance videos shows Kimberley Hudelson heading towards the XO Lounge the night of May 20, 2021.
Hudelson said in court Wednesday afternoon that she had only even been to the nightclub once before, but was going that night to support friends who were playing jazz music.
In the video, Verner is seen walking out of the club and towards Hudelson.
“He was walking in an aggressive manner,” Hudelson told the court.
Hudelson appears to step to her left and attempting to get out of Verner’s path.
Verner then takes a step to his right, pulls his right fist back and strikes Hudelson in the face with enough force to knock her unconscious.
“Why? Why Kim?” asked Hudelson’s friend and a witness, Ashley Gardner. “Honestly, it looked like she was dead. She had blood coming from her mouth and from the back of her head; she was unconscious. It was terrifying.”
Hudelson said as she fell backwards, she hit the back of her head on a “brick retaining wall.”
In the video, Verner is seen attempting to flee the scene, but his girlfriend Cami Simunek followed.
Verner recalled Simunek attempting to calm him down and having him process what had happened.
Verner claims to not remember anything that happened in the surveillance video.
He does, however, blame some “candy” his friend gave him earlier in the night.
Verner told the court he popped some candy in his mouth and he later felt as if “something wasn’t right.”
He added he only had one alcoholic drink that night.
He was medically tested 48 hours later, according to Simunek.
Verner said THC was detected, but he wasn’t able to confirm any other substance in his system due to the test costing thousands of dollars he didn’t have.
Verner claimed his attorneys were given those medical records, but Hudelson’s attorney said those records were never admitted into evidence.
After Verner did research on his own, he believes the “candy” he ingested to possibly be fentanyl.
He told the court he asked his friend what the “candy” was, but his friend was unable to provide specifics, only telling Verner it was a “hybrid.”
The incident landed Hudelson in Mercy Hospital for three days, receiving treatment to “stop the bleeding from my head and my face.”
Her jaw was stitched and she received an unknown number of staples in two places on the back of her head.
Hudelson also claimed that because of the attack, she has since lost her sense of taste, smell, and partial hearing.
“I was shocked and appalled at the video. That’s not me,” said Verner. “I wish I could go back and take those 42 seconds back.”
Verner explained since the incident, he has tried to better himself, but when he was asked what he did to do so, he explained he hasn’t gone to anger management classes nor has he gone to rehab for drugs or alcohol.
Verner pleaded no contest in the case because there’s a pending civil lawsuit against him as well for the same incident.
Verner’s lead attorney, John Cannon told KFOR they were seeking a probationary sentence to give the court the opportunity to see Verner better himself and to continue shaping his community in a positive way.
Hudleson’s attorney asked for 15 years in prison and 10 years on probation for one count of maiming.
Oklahoma County Judge Nikki Kirkpatrick sentenced Verner to 10 years in prison followed by 10 years on probation.
Verner has also been ordered to take a 13-week anger management course and to pay restitution to Hudelson post-prison.
The lead attorney for Hudelson, Joe Carson told KFOR the family would’ve been satisfied with whatever the judge decided, but that justice was served Wednesday.
News 4 spoke with Verner as he was walking to an elevator that connects to the Oklahoma County Detention Center.
Verner told KFOR he is truly remorseful for what has happened and he doesn’t understand why no one believes him.
He added he wants Hudelson and her family to know how sorry he is.
As Verner’s family members flooded out of the courtroom, cries filled the air and tears were shed.
Cannon said the family is broken-hearted over the verdict.
There is still a pending civil lawsuit between Verner and Hudelson, so now both sides are preparing for that.
Hudelson’s husband, Kelly declined an interview and a statement regarding Wednesday’s sentence outcome.
Kelly told KFOR Hudelson is not ready to talk about what happened that night.
Verner does not have any prior convictions.