Edmonton

Woman gets 12 years in golf-course slaying of Edmonton teen

A 20-year-old woman convicted for her part in the gruesome sex killing of a 13-year-old Edmonton girl three years ago was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison.

Judge allows naming of woman who was 17 at the time of the killing 3 years ago

A 20-year-old woman convicted for her part in the gruesome sex killing of a 13-year-old Edmonton girl three years ago was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison.

Stephanie Bird, 20, seen here in a courtroom sketch, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for her part in the sex killing of 13-year-old Nina Courtepatte, west of Edmonton. ((CBC))

Stephanie Bird, 17 at the time, helped a group of young people lure Nina Courtepatte from West Edmonton Mall to a secluded golf course, where the girl was raped and beaten to death.

Bird was found guilty in April 2007 on charges of kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault and manslaughter.

Last week during her sentencing hearing, she made a tearful apology to Courtepatte's family after the judge ruled that she would be sentenced as an adult, rather than a youth, because of the seriousness of the crime.

Bird's identify has been protected throughout the lengthy court process, but Justice June Ross dropped the publication ban after sentencing Friday.

Nina Courtepatte's mother, Peacha Atkinson, called the 12-year sentence handed to Stephanie Bird 'a slap in the face.' ((CBC))

Ross rejected a call from the Crown that the woman be sent to prison for 25 years. Bird still has a chance for rehabilitation and is young enough to turn her life around, the judge said.

The judge also allowed three years of credit for her time already served in jail.

"Say hello to prison justice, child killer!" Courtepatte's uncle, Burt Atkinson, shouted as Bird was led out of court.

Courtepatte's mother, Peacha Atkinson, called the sentence "a slap in the face."

Nina Courtepatte's bruised and bloody body was found on the Edmonton Springs golf course in 2005. ((CBC))

"She deserves life," she told reporters outside the courthouse.

Atkinson did take consolation in the fact that Bird's name is now public.

"She can't hide anymore. The public will know her name and this way other children will be safe."

Bird is one of five people charged in the case.

Joseph Laboucan and Michael Williams are serving life sentences. Another accused, Michael Briscoe, was acquitted, although the Crown is appealing that decision.

The trial for a fifth young woman, now 18 but 15 at the time of the crime, began this week in another Edmonton courtroom.

She is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping.

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