Update Friday Oct. 21 10:40 a.m.:
Ryan Quigley will likely be sentenced to 12 years in prison, less time served, for fatally stabbing his ex-fiance.
The court is hearing that there are mitigating factors being taken into account as they sentence him for killing Aimee Parkes, such as his aboriginal status. Aggravating factors include not to not caring for his own mental health and drug abuse.
That he made it to age 35 without any major issues, said his defence, shows that there is hope for his rehabilitation. With a prison term Quigley will get help with his addictions.
With credit given for time served, Quigley would serve nine years, five months
Ryan Quigley was convicted of fatally stabbing his ex fiancee Wednesday, putting an abrupt stop to a trial expected to continue or at least another week.
The Kelowna man’s guilty plea to manslaughter was accepted by Justice Alison Beames.
Crown counsel Colin Forsyth and defence lawyer Kevin McCulloch offered a joint submission on the charge Wednesday and sentencing was scheduled for Friday.
Three weeks ago, when Quigley’s second degree murder trial got underway, he tried to do the same thing, but it was rejected by Crown counsel who seemingly since had a change of heart.
It’s a change unlikely to please Aimee Parkes’ family and friends, who have attended court every day.
Graham Parkes, Aimee’s father, has said that Quigley should have been tried on first degree murder and he took umbrage at the original attempt to enter a guilty plea to the lesser charge, calling it “disgusting.”
“She wanted him out,” Parkes said, on Sept. 26.
“The lease (they shared) came up on April 1, 2014 and he murdered her on March 31. It was planned. He should be charged with first degree murder.”
Throughout the trial, witnesses have painted a picture of a woman trying to extricate herself from a toxic relationship with a crack addict. What she believed was the final move toward freedom ended in death.
On April 1, 2014 she was found dead, having bled out from 26 stab wounds to her face, torso and arms.
Witnesses told the court that Parkes — a professional with a bright and cheerful demeanor— had seen her relationship with Quigley deteriorate in the months before her death.
He’d started stealing from her and pawning her property. She even saved him from an attempt at suicide.
She was trying to have him ousted from the home they rented together at Hiawatha Mobile Home Park, but because his name was on the contract had he hadn’t yet physically assaulted her not the courts or the police could help her in her efforts.
Kayla Sequin testified in court that Parkes hadn’t wanted to move out, herself.
Freedom, she told co-workers and friends, was scheduled for March 31, 2014 when his name was to be taken off the lease, she could change the locks to the trailer and call police for assistance if he showed up uninvited.
As she left for work to get the locks changed on her home, she told co-worker Tamara Livingstone about the situation and they had a haunting exchange.
“I said to her that I thought she dodged a bullet, ending her relationship,” Livingstone said.
Parkes replied, “I don’t think I’m dodging a bullet, I think I’m dodging an atom bomb explosion.”
Although Crown had just wrapped up its case, defense had laid out a clear picture of the direction he was going in cross examinations, focusing on intent, provocation and intoxication.
“I spoke with a friend of Aimee’s who told me (Aimee) had located (Ryan Quigley) attempting to commit suicide in a vehicle and that she intervened,” said Const. Ann Donnelly, under cross examination from defence lawyer McCullough, as week two of Quigley’s second degree murder trial got underway.
Donnelly said that she also knew Quigley to be a crack user and found multiple pawn shop receipts for jewelry and garden tools from the days before the April 1, 2014 attack took place.
“You thought he was bingeing?” McCullough asked.
“I don’t know. I don’t know enough about drug use to say that,” Donnelly replied.
McCullough also asked for Donnelly’s take on unusual aspects of the crime scene, among which being how Parkes was found.
The 35-year-old woman’s body was placed face down on the floor under sheets, just outside her bedroom and her head set atop a pillow.
“It gives the impression that the killer assisted the victim with putting their head on the pillow,” he said.
He also pointed out that there was a bottle of water placed next to Parkes with a straw in it. That, he said, appeared to be for Parkes and Donnelly agreed that seemed to be the case.
“A killer providing comfort is unusual?” McCullough asked.
He also pointed out that there was evidence of a conflict, such as a ripped up photo of Quigley in a trash bin and a fake eviction notice served to him weeks earlier.