Prosecutors seek consecutive life sentences by Bruce McArthur



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Richard Andrew Kikot speaks to the media as he rests from the victim's impact statements during the sentencing hearing of serial killer Bruce McArthur in Toronto on February 5, 2019.

Nathan Denette / The Canadian Press

Prosecutors are asking a judge to put Bruce McArthur behind bars, with no chance of parole, until he is 116 years old – two consecutive life sentences for the eight first-degree murders he committed for nearly a decade.

"The certainty that McArthur will never get out of prison is an appropriate outcome," Assistant Crown attorney Craig Harper told the High Court on Tuesday, arguing that the crimes were particularly heinous because he attacked the vulnerable. The term serial killer, Harper said, was "totally inadequate" to describe McArthur's moral censorship. "He tore these men away from family and friends. He has spread fear in a community that, regardless of its multiple strengths, struggles with a tenuous sense of security. "

McArthur refused the chance to address the court. "I spoke to my lawyer and I do not want to say anything," he said when asked on Tuesday.

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His defense lawyer defended all eight sentences to be served simultaneously.

"The practical reality is that McArthur's release on parole is highly improbable," said James Miglin, adding that his client is already 67 years old and filed a guilty plea sparing the families of the victims of a brutal trial of months of probation. duration.

Tuesday was the second day of conviction hearings by McArthur, who pleaded guilty last week to killing Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi, Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi, Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, Dean Lisowick, Selim Esen and Andrew Kinsman. He posed the corpses of his victims, photographed them with cigars and fur coats, then dismembered them.

Friends and relatives of the eight men killed went to the witness stand to discuss the heavy tribute McArthur's crimes took. Faizi's widow, Kareema, described working 16 to 18 hours a day to support her two daughters. "They pretend to be strong in front of me," she said in a statement read by a prosecutor. When their daughters are alone, they bring pictures of their father to their rooms and cry.

Kanagaratnam's sister, Kirushnaveny Yasotharan, said she did not want to live in a world that had become "terribly cruel."

Mahmudi's widow, Fareena Marzook, sobbed when her statement was read, detailing "the trauma and pain of losing my soul mate." She said she was terrified that Mr. McArthur would be released one day, recognize her family from the hearings and kill them. (One of the Crown's arguments for consecutive sentences was to prevent family members from facing Mr. McArthur at a probation hearing in one day.)

Deciding whether Mr. McArthur's sentences will be served consecutively or concurrently is the job of Judge John McMahon. The minimum sentence for a count is a lifelong term with no chance of parole before 25 years. Judge McMahon expects to deliver a sentence on Friday. He confirmed that a conviction of assault previously dropped by McArthur – who attacked a sex worker with a lead tube in 2001 – would be considered.

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Harper created Elizabeth Wettlaufer, an Ontario nurse who killed eight elderly patients. Wettlaufer elected to confess his crimes, he told the court, while McArthur continued to lie to the police in order to conceal his crimes even after his arrest in January 2018.

"He was caught. He did not stop.

Miglin argued that his client's life expectancy is already well below the limit set by competing sentences, which would allow him to seek probation at age 91. "These offenses are horrible," he said. "It demands the most serious penalties and penalties available in our law." Still, he argued that consecutive life imprisonment sentences would be "unduly harsh," considering his client's age and request.

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