Calgary

Husband guilty of murder for running down wife, leaving her to die on Calgary street

A Calgary man who deliberately drove over his wife with a U-Haul during an argument and left her to die on a snow covered street has been convicted of second-degree murder.

Ronald John Candaele convicted of 2nd-degree murder in death of Melissa Rae Blommaert

Ronald John Candaele, right, has been found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of his wife, Melissa Rae Blommaert, who was found dead on a Bowness street in February 2020. (Ronald John Candaele/Facebook)

A Calgary man who deliberately drove over his wife with a U-Haul during an argument and left her to die alone on a snow covered street has been convicted of second-degree murder.

On Feb. 10, 2020, Ronald John Candaele and his wife, Melissa Rae Blommaert, had been arguing when she got out of the vehicle in Bowness and Candaele got behind the wheel. 

As she stormed away, Candaele drove the U-Haul into his wife. After running her over, he turned around and drove past her as she lay dying in the street.

"He did not stop to assist her in a time of critical need," said Court of Queen's Bench Justice Blair Nixon in delivering his decision Wednesday.

On the day Blommaert was killed, the couple had been evicted from their subsidized housing apartment.

A neighbour, who lived on the northwest Calgary street where Blommaert was killed, testified he woke up to a commotion in the middle of the night and heard a man shouting "f--k you," a car door slamming and then a vehicle driving away.

The judge found Blommaert's dark coat would have contrasted with the snowy street, which was lit up by the headlights of the U-Haul and street lamps, making her visible to her husband as he targeted her.

Candaele lied to police

When the accused was first questioned by police, he denied being with his wife and told officers she was missing.

Security camera images from the area told a different story.

Police eventually found Blommaert's DNA on the undercarriage of the U-Haul.

Nixon called Candaele's version of events to police "unreliable and incredible." 

The judge will hear sentencing arguments from prosecutor Hyatt Mograbee and defence lawyer Kim Ross at a later date.

A second-degree murder conviction comes with a life sentence with no chance of parole for 10 to 25 years.

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