Stephane Parent was convicted of second-degree murder in a Calgary courtroom on Friday for the 2002 Valentine’s Day death of his girlfriend Adrienne McColl.
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The 21-year-old’s body was found in a ditch on a farmer’s field near Nanton on Feb. 17, 2002. It wasn’t until 16 years after her death that Parent — now in his 50s — was arrested and charged.
Crown prosecutor Shane Parker said McColl was strangled and suffered a fractured skull from multiple blows to the head.
The 12-person jury deliberated for about two hours before reaching a decision on Friday. The main issue came down to when and where McColl was attacked, according to Parker.
There were 35 Crown witnesses and three for the defence, Parker said, noting that each side had a forensic pathologist testify.
“The family is just so relieved to have answers and justice,” he said.
“Her friends are friends we all wish we had. Her surviving family seemed satisfied. Some of her family passed before having such answers.”
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Parker thanked the jury during the “extremely tough times” brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are grateful for the engaged family, friends and many witnesses,” he said. “The RCMP did themselves proud in this relentless investigation.”
Defence lawyer Gavin Wolch said he withdrew as counsel of record due to a breakdown in the relationship with his client and won’t be commenting, given that he is no longer representing Parent.
Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 29.
– With files from Jackie Wilson
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