Couple wanted in 2015 nationwide manhunt plead guilty to killing Sina Parsi after 'consensual sexual activity'
WARNING: Story contains details some readers may find graphic
The Toronto couple wanted in the 2015 death of Sina Parsi have both pleaded guilty to murder.
Clyde Marshall — who was sentenced on Wednesday — pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and has been sentenced to life behind bars, while Sabrina Chouart pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of second-degree murder. Her sentencing will come at a later date.
Both were the subject of a nationwide manhunt for two weeks following the death of 32-year-old Parsi, whose body was found in the couple's Toronto apartment following his disappearance in June 2015.
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"Clyde Marshall has the most tragic history I've ever heard," said one of his lawyers, Alana Page, in a statement to CBC Toronto. Marshall, originally from New Brunswick, was 37-years-old at the time of the murder, and Chouart, originally from Gatineau, was 28.
"He recognizes that he did a horrible thing. Not many people plead guilty to first degree murder, given the inevitable sentence of life in prison with no parole eligibility for 25 years."
Marshall showed remorse, Page said, and pleaded guilty in part to make sure Parsi's wife, and Marshall's children, wouldn't suffer through a prolonged trial.
Parsi had gone missing after a soccer game two years ago. York Regional Police initially treated the Vaughan man's disappearance as a missing persons case, but clues later led them to Marshall and Chouart's eighth-floor apartment at 230 Woolner Avenue, near Jane Street and St. Clair Avenue West in central Toronto, where Parsi's body was found.
At the time, police called it a "violent" murder, and an agreed statement of facts later shed more light on what happened on the night of June 9, 2015.
'Consensual sexual activity' before murder
That evening, Parsi abruptly left the York Region soccer field where he was playing with friends and drove to Toronto.
Around 11:30 p.m., he met Marshall and Chouart at a Tim Hortons — a pre-arranged meeting. The three then went to Marshall and Chouart's apartment, their movements captured on the building's surveillance system.
Once inside the pair's unit, some consensual sexual activity happened, including the tying of Parsi's wrists, according to the statement of facts.
Soon after, Parsi was forcibly confined to the pair's bed, face down and naked. Various ropes and a cloth belt were used to confine him in different manners throughout the night.
Parsi was also hit repeatedly, leading to a fractured nasal bone and neck bone, and blood on the surface of his brain, among other injuries.
He was eventually killed through ligature strangulation, coupled with wrist restraint injuries and blunt trauma of the head, face and torso.
During Parsi's confinement, his PIN number was extorted and his wallet was taken, with Marshall and Chouart withdrawing around $400 in cash from his account.
Shortly after 4 a.m., Marshall and Chouart left their apartment for the last time with their dog and backpacks.
On their way out, Marshall paused — and waved at a surveillance camera.
The pair left their dog tied to a pole and went to Niagara Falls by bus, where they were later spotted after 11 days on the run by store security in a Wal-Mart.
In a letter to Parsi's wife, Roya Parsi, Marshall apologized for the murder and said he did a "terribly horrible thing."
"Your husband didn't deserve what happened to him, nor you the pain you'll always feel," Marshall wrote.
With files from CBC News, Mike Smee