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Sentencing - Homicide - Second degree murder - Particular sanctions - Imprisonment - Parole ineligibility - Sentencing considerations - Joint submissions - Previous record - Guilty plea - Mental health

Thursday, July 21, 2016 @ 8:00 PM  


Sentencing of the offender, Ostamas, for three counts of second degree murder. The offender killed the three victims over a two-week period. The victims were known to frequent homeless shelters and the streets of downtown Winnipeg. They were severely intoxicated at the time of the killings and thus unable to defend themselves. The first victim was repeatedly kicked in the head in a bus shelter. Two weeks later, the second victim was accosted by the offender, led to a construction area behind a commercial building, and beaten to death with a piece of lumber. Surveillance security video captured the interaction and killing. Two hours after the second killing, the third victim was taken by the offender to a parking lot. His body was subsequently discovered in a pool of blood featuring injuries consistent with blunt force trauma and strangulation. The offender was arrested three days later. After consulting with counsel, the offender provided police with a 348-page statement admitting his involvement in all three homicides. He had an extensive criminal record and a history of mental illness. The offender pled guilty. A joint submission recommended a sentence of life imprisonment for each count, with the period of parole ineligibility raised from ten to 25 years. In addition, the joint submission recommended that the parole ineligibility periods run consecutively in accordance with s. 745.51 of the Criminal Code.

HELD: Ostamas was sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for parole for 75 years. The offender hunted and bludgeoned three vulnerable homeless individuals to death in cold blood. There was no indication the offender’s history of mental illness rendered him not criminally responsible or unfit to stand trial. On the basis of the evidence relating to the character of the offender, the nature of the offences, the circumstances surrounding the commission of the murders, the submissions of counsel, and the victim impact statements, the periods of parole ineligibility were ordered to be served consecutively. Sentence: life imprisonment without eligibility for parole for 75 years.