Calgary

Andrew Murray, who killed mother in alcohol-induced psychosis, sentenced to 9 years

A Calgary man who chased his mother around the house in an alcohol-induced psychosis before shooting her in the neck was told to honour her through his sobriety as a judge sentenced him to nine years in prison.

Calgary man has 4 years credit for the time he's already served

Andrew Douglas Murray was sentenced Tuesday to nine years in prison for killing his mother in an alcohol-induced psychosis, in a case that the judge called 'heartbreaking.' (CBC)

A Calgary man who chased his mother around the house in an alcohol-induced psychosis before fatally shooting her in the back of the neck was told to honour her through his "sobriety" as a judge sentenced him to nine years in prison.

Andrew Murray, 32, was originally charged with first-degree murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter last June.

"The tragedy of this case is heartbreaking," said Justice Beth Hughes in delivering her sentence.

"Lois Murray's death has torn her family apart — the impact is profound and devastating."

Lois Murray's son chased her around the house before shooting her in the neck in her home Thanksgiving weekend 2013. (CBC)

Over the 2013 Thanksgiving weekend, Murray's father and sister were away and he was visiting his mother.

At one point, he got a shotgun from his parents' basement, chased his mother around the home and shot her after she fell down while running away from him.

After the shooting, Murray called 911 and waited outside.

When emergency responders arrived, he was found sitting on the curb.

Murray told the 911 operator and police that he'd been hearing voices in his head for about five days leading up to the killing.

A forensic psychiatric assessment found Murray suffered an alcohol-induced psychotic disorder brought on by withdrawal at the time of the killing, according to an agreed statement of facts.

Lois Murray had been her son's biggest supporter through his addictions issues, court heard.

'The best way you can honour your mother is by your sobriety'

With enhanced credit for the time he's already served, Murray has already spent the equivalent of four years behind bars since his arrest.

Murray's lawyers, Jim Lutz and Jillian Williamson, had asked for a six-year sentence while prosecutor Susan Kennedy proposed 12 to 15 years.

"As defence counsel we always want to advocate for the lowest sentence in accordance with the law but Mr. Murray was satisfied with this sentence because he thought that anything lower would upset his family," said Williamson of her client's goal to eventually reconnect with his family.

Earlier in the proceedings, Lois's daughter Lisa Shaw described for the court what it was like to lose her mother at her brother's hand when she was five months pregnant with her first child.

"The same day you took Mom, you took me," Shaw told her brother. "I feel bad for wishing it was someone else, anyone else. For wishing it was you."

After delivering the sentence, Hughes addressed Murray directly, reminding him that during the sentencing hearing, he committed to honouring his mother by staying away from alcohol.

"I got a transcript of what you said to me," said Hughes as the court clerk handed Murray the document. "So you can remind yourself of what you told me as life goes on."

"You said the best way you can honour your mother is by your sobriety. I wish you all the luck."