Winnipeg mom of 3 was killed for $20, court hears during sentencing

A man has been sentenced to seven years for the 2014 killing of a Winnipeg mom of three.

Man sentenced to 7 years for 2014 stabbing death of Angela Marie Poorman, 29

Angela Marie Poorman was fatally stabbed in 2014. Her case was unsolved for nearly two years.

The family of a woman who was murdered in 2014 stood in a Manitoba provincial court in Winnipeg on Friday and told her killer they forgive him.

"Our family forgives you. I hope you get the help you need," said Veda Gamble, Angela Marie Poorman's half-sister. 

"It's the only way to move on and for Angela to get peace."

Poorman was fatally stabbed in Winnipeg's North End on the morning of Dec. 14, 2014. 

Her family drove to Winnipeg from Saskatoon for Friday's sentencing of the killer, who had previously pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

CBC News can't release the name of the man, who is now 20, because he was a minor when he killed Poorman, which happened on his 17th birthday, court was told Friday. He received the maximum youth sentence for second-degree murder, with four years in custody and three years in community supervision.

Nautia Crier, Poorman's daughter, told court on Friday that her mother was killed just as she was getting to know her.

"Never again will I be able to call my mom and just say good night," she said, before reading a poem she had written to be included in her victim impact statement.

As Crier spoke, her mother's killer started to weep.

Nautia Crier says she wanted to let her mother's killer know how much he impacted her life. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

Poorman was found lying on the street with $20 in her hand on the morning of Dec. 14, 2014, according to an agreed statement of facts read in court on Friday. 

"[The killer] took a life for $20," Crown prosecutor Lisa Carson told court.

The homicide happened around 6:15 a.m., when the man and Poorman were discussing money exchanged for a sexual act, court heard.

A witness saw them arguing and then saw the young man pull something out of his jacket.

"You are stabbing me," Poorman yelled, and then the man fled.

He stabbed her with a sword he had taken out of a sheath, court heard. He discarded the sword a few blocks away.

The killing went unsolved for years, when police couldn't match the DNA found on the discarded sword. 

But the killer was convicted of a different crime two years later and a DNA sample was ordered, which matched the DNA found on the sword used to kill Poorman.

"This boy who took her away from us has no idea how much hurt he caused," Candice Poorman, Angela's sister, said in court Friday.

"I don't have my sister anymore.

"After three years … after today, we can let her rest."

Angela Marie Poorman, left, poses with her daughter, Nautia Crier. (Submitted to CBC)

The killer was given an opportunity to speak before he was sentenced. He looked at the Poorman's family and said "I swear to God I'm sorry."

"I'm going to do everything I can to be a better person."

Provincial court Judge Kael McKenzie said the family's actions show the human heart has a great capacity for forgiveness. He then looked at the killer and said "don't let these people down."

​Missing and Murdered: The Case of Angela Poorman

Angela Poorman's story was covered as part of a CBC series looking at cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Poorman's case drew media attention after Manitoba Justice's victim services initially refused to help cover her funeral expenses. The family had asked for help but were turned down because Poorman had numerous minor criminal offences on her record.

Manitoba Justice reversed the decision and agreed to cover the $4,500 funeral bill for the family after Poorman's mother — who is on disability and was unable to pay for the funeral herself — went public with the story.