James Christians will be 84-years-old when he is allowed to request parole after pleading guilty to stabbing his wife Carmel to death in October 2013.

Last month, on the first day of what was supposed to be a three-week first-degree murder jury trial, Christians pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

He also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for stabbing his wife's friend Delores McMartin.

"For two and a half years I've done the coulda, shoulda, woulda," said McMartin. "We've reached that point where there's no more second guessing, it's over."

Christians admitted to killing his wife outside of McMartin's Chaparral home. Carmel Christians was trying to leave her husband after he became violent during a fight and had moved in with McMartin.

At the time of her death, there was an Emergency Protection Order (EPO) in place that prohibited Carmel's husband from making contact with her.

Divorce proceedings were underway

Six weeks before she was killed, an argument between the couple turned violent and he punched her in the face. The next day, Carmel got the EPO and began divorce proceedings.


James Christians admitted to killing his wife in October 2013 outside the Chaparral home where she was staying to try and get away from him. (Kyle Bakx/CBC)

Then on Oct. 16, 2013, James took a butcher knife to McMartin's home and waited outside for his wife. When she came out, he struck her with a crowbar and stabbed her 10 times, according to the agreed statement of facts.

After sentencing Christians to life in prison with no chance of parole for 17 years, Justice Colleen Kenny told the victim's friends and family that they did all they could to protect Carmel Christians.

"There was nothing else they could have done to prevent this," said Crown prosecutor Kyra Kondro. "I think the judge wanted to assure them that they are not at fault for this offence."

Christians appeared over CCTV for the sentencing because the Calgary Remand Centre was on lockdown after some kind of disturbance. He had no reaction as the judge read her decision.

"He's flat, he's depressed," said defence lawyer Robert Batting. "He absolutely has remorse."