An Edmonton man will spend 13 years in prison before he can apply for parole for the June 2008 slaying of Edmonton escort Chantel Robertson, a judge ruled Friday.
Matthew Todd Barrett, 25, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Friday morning. He was originally charged with first-degree murder and offering indignity to a body.
"Mr. Barrett's actions were callous to the extreme — cruel beyond belief," said Court of Queen's Bench Justice Sterling Sanderman in Edmonton as he handed down the sentence.
Second-degree murder convictions carry an automatic life sentence with parole eligibility in the range of 10 to 25 years.
According to an agreed statement of facts, Barrett paid $350 for Robertson's services but needed the money back to pay the rent. He strangled the young woman and then sometime later that morning, threw her body out the window and buried her body in the bungalow's backyard. After smoking some marijuana, he went to bed.
"That is just chilling. That is the stuff of horror stories," Justice Sanderman said.
"You can't even comprehend the loss, you truly can't," Robertson's father, Michael, said outside court. "We've said we'd rather have lost our daughter to a sickness, an accident, serving our country. We could have accepted any of that. Not a senseless crime like this."
Robertson, 20, was last seen in the early hours of June 28, 2008, when she was dropped off at a client's residence. She was reported missing the next day after she didn't show up for work, which was considered highly unusual for her. Her cellphone was also turned off.
Robertson's body was found a day later. The medical examiner determined she had died as a result of strangulation.