'Cold-blooded' killing of Calgary mother nets murderer life sentence with no parole for 17 years
Kevin Rubletz was convicted by a jury of 2nd-degree murder in the death of Jessica Newman, 24
In sentencing Kevin Rubletz to life in prison Thursday for fatally stabbing his former girlfriend 75 times, the judge described the killing as a "savage attack [involving] almost unbelievable gratuitous violence."
Jessica Newman's body was found in a ditch two months after she disappeared. Rubletz, her former boyfriend and the father of her son, was convicted of second-degree murder last November.
Court of Queen's Bench Justice Glen Poelman called the killer's actions "cold blooded" as he handed down a life sentence with no chance of parole for 17 years.
After stabbing her 75 times, Rubletz dumped Newman's body in a ditch near Balzac "to be left to the ravages of the elements, insects and scavenging elements," said Poelman.
Newman was last seen in March 2015 and it was two months before her remains were discovered.
"Six agonizing weeks went by before they found Jessica in a ditch, tossed away as if she was nothing," Newman's mother, Rhonda Steward, said in her victim impact statement delivered Thursday.
"I have more sleepless nights than not. I stare into the darkness, and I question everything I could have done as a mother to prevent this."
Rubletz's second-degree murder conviction comes with an automatic life sentence. On Thursday, prosecutor Shane Parker argued Rubletz should have to wait 17 years before applying for parole, while defence lawyer Brendan Miller proposed a 12 to 15 year parole ineligibility.
Wishes cannot rewrite the past
The jury heard evidence Rubletz and Newman had a good relationship even after they broke up and were due in court the day after she disappeared so they could alter their custody arrangement and allow Newman more access to her son.
On March 10, 2015, Rubletz picked her up from work and the two had coffee with a plan to review her Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) papers ahead of the family court hearing the next day, when the 24-year-old mother was planning to apply for 50 per cent custody of their son.
Although he told police he dropped Newman off after their coffee date, she never made it home again.
A forensic expert testified a "bloodletting" event had taken place in Rubletz's van and that Newman's DNA was found inside.
At the time of her death, Newman and Rubletz were seeing other people, but the on-again, off-again couple had also been exchanging messages of "romance, sex and love" between December 2014 and March 2015.
"How I wish that Kevin had been late picking her up from work that night, and that Jessica had gone home without him," said Steward.
"Sometimes I wish that his van had broken down earlier that day, or I wish a million other things, useless things, hindsight things, that never happened."
"Wishes cannot rewrite the past, they can only reinforce the pain of losing Jessica."