Jimmy Rivas-Magana stabbed wife to death, but couldn't kill himself

Jimmy Rivas-Magana admitted in court Monday he stabbed his wife four times in the chest and once in the back.

Crown and defence agree on life sentence with no chance of parole for 10 years

Jimmy Rivas-Magana and Yeny Alfaro celebrate their marriage in a Facebook photo. (Facebook)

On her Facebook page, Yeny Alfaro called marrying Jimmy Rivas-Magana "the best moment of my life."   

There's even a picture of the happy couple sharing wedding cake on March 1, 2013.

By June of that year, the 26-year-old newlywed texted her spouse, "Going to stay with my parents for awhile. I think I want to separate."

But the couple got back together again.

Now Rivas-Magana, 28, has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Alfaro's death.  

According to an agreed statement of facts, the couple got into a heated argument at their mobile home in southeast Edmonton on July 20, 2013.  

They were supposed to go to a family barbecue. Instead, sometime between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.that Saturday night, Rivas-Magana stabbed his wife five times.

Four times in the chest; once in the back.

The next day, police found Alfaro dead in her bedroom. She was lying on her back on the floor between the bed and wall with a 13-cm steak knife in her chest and a broken steak knife blade in her back.

Alfaro's friends and family cried quietly in the courtroom as the details of the domestic violence were read out loud to the judge.

The killer showed no reaction, even as the court heard 17 emotional victim-impact statements.  

Alfaro's sister, Patricia Millan, said, "I really do not understand why Jimmy had to do that. She gave him everything."

Alfaro's close friend, Amanda Finlay, told the court she feels guilty because she helped the couple reconcile after they separated.  

"The hardest thing out of all this is not hating Jimmy", she said. "Yeny never hated anything. How can I say that I loved her if I hate the man that she loved so completely?"

Rivas-Magana's lawyer told the court the killer suffers from "true remorse."

After he murdered his wife, Rivas-Magana tried to slit his wrists. He bandaged himself with duct tape and later downed an entire bottle of nighttime Advil, and was surprised when he woke up the next morning.

Still determined to end his life, Rivas-Magana drove his car 100 km/h off a small cliff into a ravine. The airbags deployed, the car was seriously damaged, but Rivas-Magana walked away from the crash.

Later at the hospital, he told his father, "I want to kill myself. I want to die."

But two-and-a-half years later, Rivas-Magana turned down a chance to say anything to the court.  

Lawyers for both sides agree a life sentence with no chance of parole for 10 years is the proper sentence. That's the statutory minimum for a second-degree murder conviction.  

"You've given me a lot to think about," said Justice John Gill.

He is expected to hand down his sentence Tuesday afternoon.