The sister of a man strangled to death stormed out of an Edmonton courtroom Friday after  a judge sentenced the killer to three years in prison.

Justice Sterling Sanderman sentenced William Tubrett, 48, in the death of his roommate and employer Jamie Vickers.

The victim's sister, Tracey Vickers, taken by surprise, yelled out "What?"

She stormed out of the courtroom after Sanderman ordered her to leave.

Earlier Vickers could only choke out the first two sentences of her victim impact statement before she asked the prosecutor to finish reading it.

"I lost my faith in people," she said. "I miss my big brother so much. Life isn't supposed to feel this way."

In the sentencing, Sanderman said the victim started the fight that ultimately led to his death.

He called the case a "true tragedy" with two healthy, robust, physical men who enjoyed a few beers and a good time with each other just hours before Vickers' death.

Returning from the bar, Jamie Vickers, 35, attacked Tubrett in a fit of rage over a messy kitchen.

Vickers confronted Tubrett in the dark as he slept, said Sanderman. Tubrett was hit in the face and reacted by choking his assailant, he said.

Clearly, said Sanderman, Tubrett put him in a chokehold that lasted too long.

In the end Sanderman sided with the defence which asked for a sentence of 2½ years, compared to the Crown's recommendation of eight to 10 years.

"It reflected the fact that Bill Tubrett really was not the aggressor," said lawyer Naeem Rauf. "That Jamie Vickers, the deceased — it's unfortunate — went bounding down there. He was in a towering rage and he attacked Mr. Tubrett in his sleeping area."

Tubrett will get credit for the 15 months he's already served.

Tubrett has a long criminal record — the record of a petty criminal according to Sanderman.

Tubrett has 64 convictions since 1983, a half dozen involving violence.

With files from CBC's Janice Johnston