Catherine Todd killer sentenced to 9 years
An apologetic James Parise tells Todd's family "I'm terribly sorry for what I've done"
A Kitchener judge sentenced James Parise Tuesday, to nine years in prison for the beating death of Catherine Todd last March.
With time already served, it means Parise will spend the next seven and a half years behind bars.
Lawyers for the defense and the Crown both suggested Parise, who pled guilty to manslaughter on Feb. 11, spend nine years in prison for killing Todd.
Prosecutor Vlatko Karadzic says the sentence is heavier than what is typically given in cases of manslaughter. However, he told the court the time fits the crime.
Karadzic added that Parise may not have meant to kill Todd, but he did go to extraordinary lengths to make sure the her body was never found.
Catherine Todd, known as Cathy to her friends and family, was killed in her apartment on Lorraine Avenue in Kitchener's Heritage Park neighbourhood.
Parise told the court he beat Todd to death in a drug-induced rage and then dumped her body in a landfill on Erb Street in Waterloo.
Waterloo Regional Police spent over six weeks searching that landfill, but they were unable to find Todd's body.
Daughter's body 'rotting away with the garbage'
"The word 'landfill' has a new meaning for me," Todd's mother told the court. "It is a place where my daughter's body is rotting away with the garbage."
Marlene Todd-Durrer struggled to read her victim impact statement on Tuesday. The elderly woman was one of five family members to speak before James Parise was sentenced. All said they find it hard to think about how Cathy Todd's body was thrown out with the trash.
"Right now, it is hard to get the images of what James Parise did to her out of my mind," said Todd's brother. Mike Todd hopes that, in time, he'll be able to remember his sister without thinking about her beaten, bloodied body.
"I am not sure I or my family will ever get out of the denial stage of grieving," said Todd's sister, Susie Johnson. "Visiting the dump and standing on the massive amounts of garbage is sadly the closest we get to Cathy after her death."
Parise apologizes for killing Todd
As the family testimonies were read, James Parise sat silently in the prisoner's box.
The twenty-six year old construction worker from Kitchener showed no sign of emotion until the Judge gave him the opportunity to speak.
"There's nothing I can say to take away the pain I've caused," Parise told the court. "I'm terribly sorry for what I've done."
For the first time since he was led into the courtroom, Parise glanced down at his hands. It wasn't much, but Judge Gary Hearn seemed to interpreted the brief action as a genuine sign of remorse.
"If there ever was a wake-up call for Mr. Parise, this is it," Judge Hearn said and suggested Parise seek counselling to control his anger and drug use.
The Judge agreed to the suggested nine year sentence, but made it clear that no sentence imposed by the court could bring Catherine Todd back to life.