British Columbia

Man sentenced to life with no parole for at least 15 years for murder of Burnaby woman

Jan Poepl pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his ex-partner Nicole Porciello in November 2018. 

Jan Poepl, 31, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Nicole Porciello

Nicole Porciello was an employee at Templeton Secondary School and mother to a 10-year-old son. (Facebook)

A judge has sentenced a Vancouver man to life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 15 years for stabbing and killing a 34-year-old woman in 2018.

Jan Poepl, 31, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Nicole Porciello.

She was killed when Poepl, her ex-partner, stabbed her and then crashed the vehicle they were riding in into a light pole on the Barnet Highway in Burnaby, B.C., in November 2018. 

"The nicest word that I can say is probably disappointing," said Porciello's cousin Gina Iuliano outside the Vancouver courthouse after the sentence was handed down Tuesday afternoon.

"I'm trying to understand what it takes to get a life sentence in Canada [without parole] based on the horrific circumstances of what happened to Nicole. Even the judge described it as something horrific."

Porciello, who worked at Templeton Secondary School in Vancouver, left behind a 10-year-old son.

The judge also ordered a lifetime firearm prohibition for Poepl.

Over the course of the sentencing hearings that began in March, the judge heard victim impact statements from Porciello's family and friends — all of which had a similar theme, according to her cousin. 

"She was pure love. She was fierce. She was smart. She was intelligent. She believed in everybody," Iuliano said. 

Porciello's brother has previously said that she and Poepl had an on-and-off relationship but Nicole had broken things off in the months before her death. 

Family members also noted on Tuesday that they hope to see a societal change that puts an end to violence against women. Iuliano says there were signs before Porciello's murder that Poepl was dangerous.

"If we had done something in advance of this Nicole would still be here because we would have seen the behaviours that Jan exuded and brought us to the situation today."