Grace Robotti has been found guilty of second degree murder.
The jury rendered the decision just after 9 p.m. Thursday, after a day of deliberations. Second degree murder comes with a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years and the jury recommended parole eligibility in 10 years. That will be decided on April 18.
Robotti, who is out on bail until she is sentenced, left the courthouse in a hurry, not speaking a word to anyone.
Friends and family of Roxanne Louie, who had been at the courthouse every hour of the three week trial, also declined comment, though said they would send out a press release Friday.
Robotti killed Louie — the mother of her great-grandchild Jan. 4 2015 — by hitting her at least 26 times in the head with a small crowbar after an argument between the two had raged out of control.
The jury had been told by her lawyer that the killing, which she had taken responsibility for Jan. 11, 2015, was an act of self defence. Louie, the jury heard, had a violent past and Robotti had been witness to flashes of it.
Crown counsel, however, pointed out that the sheer force used during a period that forensic evidence indicates Louie had been rendered immobile was a sign that she wanted to kill the 26-year-old.
Robotti’s brother, Pier, pleaded guilty previously to indignity to a human body for his role in disposing of Louie’s body down a forested road on the outskirts of Naramata at an earlier trial.
A charge of accessory after the fact to second degree murder was dropped in exchange for the guilty plea. The results of his trial were the subject of a publication ban until the jury reached a decision in his sister’s case.
To read more about what the jury was left to decide on, follow this link to a previous story.