A 24-year-old man was given two life sentences after he pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in the gruesome killings of two men in May 2013.
Melvin Mitchell will serve the two life terms back-to-back, and will be eligible for parole in 25 years.
Mitchell was on probation when he met 68-year-old Jose Rodriguez in downtown Edmonton on May 29th, 2013.
Rodriguez had invited Mitchell back to his apartment and made sexual advances, which enraged the former Yellowknife, N.W.T resident.
Mitchell admits he strangled the older man, beat him and then slashed his throat with a bread knife. He then poured bleach on the man’s body.
The next day, Mitchell attacked 51-year-old Curtis Dugray in a park at 99th Avenue and 111th Street. He stomped on Dugray’s head, face and body, then cut his throat with a disposable razor.
Dugray’s family cried in court as they listened to the disturbing details.
Justice Sterling Sanderman said the murder of the two innocent men was "gratuitous violence tinged with sadistic overtones."
"These were decent men, men whose lives were taken from them by you," Sanderman said. "You took the lives of two innocent men."
Before he killed the two men, Mitchell was frequently in trouble with the law while living in the N.W.T. and was becoming increasingly violent.
In 2011, a probation officer warned that Mitchell’s behaviour showed little remorse for the harm he had caused others.
The warning came in a report prepared for a judge who was sentencing him for brutally beating a Fort Smith man who was left blind in one eye.