Jury finds Daniel Alphonse Paul guilty of murdering his girlfriend
A conviction of 2nd-degree murder carries a life sentence
A jury has found Daniel Alphonse Paul guilty of the second-degree murder of his girlfriend, Crystal Rose Paul, whose body was discovered in his East Vancouver basement suite in March 2015.
Rose Paul, 36, was a beloved mother of five girls.
When her body was found, Paul, 45, was identified as the primary suspect early on. It took a month-long search that stretched into the U.S. before Paul was eventually arrested and charged.
A conviction of second-degree murder carries a life sentence, but the sentencing judge can set the date of parole eligibility between 10 and 25 years with recommendations from Crown, defence and the jury.
In this case, the jury did not arrive at a specific recommendation.
"The jury couldn't arrive at a specific number but they believed the minimum [10 years] was not sufficient," said Crown Counsel Daniel Mulligan.
Mulligan said sentencing could take longer for Pau,l given his extensive criminal record, his long history of violence in his relationships with women and his designation as a long-term offender in 2004.
He says the Crown will likely be seeking a parole ineligibility term close to the maximum.
Defence considers Gladue report
Paul's defence counsel has asked for an adjournment until Oct. 23 at which point a sentencing hearing date will likely be scheduled.
Mulligan said they indicated they intend to seek a Gladue report for Paul.
This type of pre-sentencing report considers the systemic disadvantages Indigenous offenders have faced due to a history of colonization, displacement and the residential school system.
It is named after a 1995 court case in which an Indigenous defendant argued the court should have considered her lived experience during sentencing.
Paul, who is Nisga'a, has already had a Gladue report completed for a 2012 sexual assault conviction. In it, the report detailed alleged sexual abuse he had suffered as a child and his use of alcohol and violence as coping mechanisms. The judge in that case found the "report thorough and helpful" when sentencing Paul.
However, the severity of the conviction can override the Gladue doctrine.
Previous case law has said while a sentencing judge can consider information provided in a Gladue report, it does not mean an automatic reduction of a sentence simply because the offender is Indigenous, nor does it mandate better treatment for Indigenous offender compared to non-Indigenous offenders.