A Saskatchewan man who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of a 19-year-old woman has been sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 15 years.
Queen's Bench Justice Frank Gerein sentenced Albert Patrick Bellegarde Thursday for the brutal slaying of Amber Redman in 2005.
Redman's remains were found last May on the Little Black Bear First Nation near Fort Qu'Appelle.
She disappeared in July 2005 after being last seen in a bar in Fort Qu'Appelle.
Bellegarde was arrested shortly after Redman's remains were discovered. He was 29.
For the first time, details about how Redman died were made public.
In a statement of facts agreed to by the Crown and defence, court heard Bellegarde and his cousin, Gilbert Allan Bellegarde, met Redman at the bar the night she disappeared.
They convinced her to go to their house with them. Later, Albert Bellegarde heard screams. He found Gilbert Bellegarde beating Redman. He joined the assault, saying that his cousin was like a brother and he was trying to protect him.
They beat her until she was unconscious. Albert Bellegarde then threw her off a balcony. He wrapped her in blankets and hid the still-living Redman in the bush.
Albert Bellegarde then took out a large knife, stabbed Redman in the head, and left her to die.
Gilbert Bellegarde was originally charged with first-degree murder, but the Crown later stayed the charge,
Members of Redman's family wept during the proceedings. Several victim impact statements were read that described Redman as a warm, kind, generous and loving person. In her statement, Redman's mother, Gwen Yuzicappi, wrote of the pain she felt in losing her only daughter.
One relative demanded that Bellegarde look at her while she read her statement. He did not, however.
When Gerein asked Bellegarde what he had to say, he said he was sorry for what he did.
A life sentence is mandatory for a second-degree murder conviction, and at least 10 years must be served to qualify for parole.
The Crown and defence submitted a joint request for a 15-year parole eligibility period.
The high-profile case helped bring public attention to the plight of missing aboriginal women. The RCMP had been investigating Redman's disappearance for more than two years without a breakthrough until they were able to trick Albert Bellegarde into revealing where the body was located.
Court heard undercover police officers convinced Bellegarde he could join a gang, but he would have to provide information about the things he had done before that could happen. While the event was being secretly recorded, Bellegarde led undercover police to the site.