Edmonton

Edmonton killer sentenced to 15 years for stabbing elderly couple

An Edmonton man received a 15-year prison sentence Thursday for stabbing an elderly couple to death in their home while in a drug- and alcohol-fuelled psychotic state.

Edward Roberts pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter and break and enter

Edward Kyle Roberts, 33, shown the day he was taken into custody in the deaths of an elderly couple. (Edmonton Police Service)

An Edmonton man received a 15-year prison sentence Thursday for stabbing an elderly couple to death in their home while in a drug- and alcohol-fuelled psychotic state.

 "This was a horrific set of circumstances," said Justice Robert Graesser, while reading out his decision in Edmonton's Court of Queen's Bench. 

"His victims were completely innocent," Graesser said, noting that "you cannot replace lives lost with time in custody."

Edward Roberts admitted killing Joao Nascimento, 93, and Maria Nascimento, 81, in a random attack on Sept. 2, 2016.

Roberts, 33, pleaded guilty last year to two counts of manslaughter and break and enter.

On Thursday, Roberts was sentenced to 15 years in jail for each manslaughter count and 10 years for break and enter to be served concurrently.

He received a credit of four years and 20 days for his time spent in custody since his arrest.

Joao and Maria Nascimento in an undated photograph. At the time of their deaths in September 2016, the couple had been married for 40 years. (Nascimento family)

He confessed to breaking into the couple's Queen Mary Park home and stabbing the couple while in a psychotic state. He was intoxicated by drugs and alcohol and had binged on crystal meth in the week leading up to the killings.

He was delusional and believed he had to kill all the people in a house in order to become king, court had heard.  

Roberts's lawyer, Rod Gregory, had argued for a sentence in the range of 12 to 14 years while Crown prosecutor Anders Quist called for a 20-year sentence, arguing a lengthy jail term was necessary to protect society. 

Graesser considered Roberts's guilty pleas as a mitigating factor in his decision and noted that the man had "experienced a downward spiral of his life."

But the judge also pointed out that Roberts hadn't sought treatment for his addictions.

"He has not yet accepted responsibility," Graesser said. 

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