A Calgary jury has found Kevin Rubletz guilty of second-degree murder of his former girlfriend, Jessica Newman, who was found in a ditch near Balzac in 2015 with 75 stab wounds.

Members of Newman's family shed tears as the verdict was read Thursday evening in a Calgary courtroom. Rubletz, 33, showed no outward emotion. 

Newman was last seen in March 2015 and it was two months before her body was found in a rural ditch near Balzac, Alta.

She was wearing a sweatshirt belonging to Rubletz's mother and the medical examiner testified she suffered 75 stab wounds. 

It took the jury of five men and six women eight hours to reach its verdict, which carries an automatic life sentence.

A sentencing hearing will be set early next year to determine how long Rubletz will have to serve behind bars before being eligible to apply for parole.

Outside of the courtroom, Newman's mother Rhonda Stewart said she was glad the ordeal was coming to a close. But, Steward said, she was never going to be satisfied that Rubletz would get what he deserves.

"[Newman] was very kind, she would probably forgive him. She was just that kind of person," Stewart said.

"I probably won't forgive him. I will try, but I won't."

On-again, off-again

Rubletz and Newman had a mostly loving, on-again, off-again relationship and shared a son. But when she began bettering herself — drinking less, going to the gym and dating another man — Rubletz found his "fuel for murder," according to the Crown.

Closing statements were made by Crown and defence lawyers on Wednesday.

The former couple were due in court the day after she disappeared in 2015. They planned to alter their custody arrangement and allow Newman more access to her son.

On March 10, 2015, the day before their family court hearing for Newman to get 50 per cent custody, Rubletz picked her up from work and the two had coffee. He told police he dropped her off at home afterward.

But in a second interview, when investigators told Rubletz they would be collecting surveillance camera video from that night, he then said he had driven to Balzac to clear his head. 

With files from Elissa Carpenter