Hamilton man to serve life for 2010 murder

Elham Dashti was killed in May 2010 in the King Street East store she owned with her husband.

A Hamilton man is guilty of the 2010 murder of shopkeeper Elham Dashti.

Patrick Smith will serve a life sentence after jurors found him guilty of first-degree murder Tuesday afternoon.

Dashti, the 31-year-old former owner of High Times on King Street East, was found dead in the store's basement on May 25, 2010, barefoot and strangled with her head scarf.

Smith testified that he had stayed off drinking and snorting cocaine the night before the murder.  He said he had also taken steroids a few hours before he went to High Times.

Smith's ex-girlfriend, Kylie Rodgers, turned him in. She recognized him on security camera video released to the public.

Smith was arrested eight months after the murder at Wayside House, a downtown addiction treatment centre, where he checked himself in for alcoholism.

Dashti was newly pregnant, a fact that bothered Smith. Rodgers was also newly pregnant.

Smith pleaded guilty to manslaughter after his arrest, but the jury found that he knew Dashti would die when he left her in the store basement.

Dashti was married with a six-year-old daughter when she was killed.