Curtis Bonnell given life sentence in cousin’s death
Pam Fillier says one day Curtis Bonnell will pay 'for all the evil you have done'
Curtis Bonnell has been given an automatic life sentence for the first-degree murder of his 16-year-old cousin Hilary Bonnell in 2009.
Bonnell was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. But Bonnell's case falls under the so-called faint hope clause, which will allow him to apply for early parole after 15 years.
A jury found the 32-year-old man guilty earlier this month after deliberating for six and a half hours.
A first-degree murder charge comes with an automatic life sentence, with no chance of parole for 25 years.
Several members of Hilary Bonnell’s family read victim impact statements in court on Wednesday.
Pam Fillier started crying before she began reading her statement. It took her several moments before she could start. She recounted the pain she has suffered since her daughter went missing.
"I don’t go anywhere anymore, I don’t visit anyone. My heart is so broken and filled with grief. He stole my baby girl, assaulted her then killed her. He killed a big part of me," she told the court.
Fillier said she was particularly upset about how her daughter’s killer refused to show any remorse during the trial.
She said she hopes Bonnell is haunted for the rest of his life with the memory of killing her daughter.
"One day [Bonnell] will answer to the highest court of all, for all the evil you have done. It’s bad enough what you did to her but to drag her name through the mud. That’s the worst of all," she said.
"And I hope you get what you gave her."
Fillier told the court how she’s struggled to cope with the loss of her daughter and how she has nightmares regularly.
The mother also described how she is forced to explain to her son that his big sister is never coming home.
"Do you know how awful it is to look at your four-year-old child and for him to put his arms up to heaven to cry, to cry for his big sister every day because of you, because of you," Fillier said, pointing to Bonnell in the courtroom.
"Crying for his sister to come back, wanting to go to heaven to be with her."
Boyd Bonnell, Hilary's father, also broke down inside the courtroom as he read his victim impact statement.
He told the court how he would not be able to see his daughter graduate or walk her down the aisle at her wedding.
He said he does not understand how Curtis Bonnell could have done this to his daughter.
"He will have time to think about what he's done, not only to Hilary, but also to our family, which will affect us all for the rest of our lives," he said.
Once Fillier finished her victim impact statement, Justice Fred Ferguson asked Bonnell if he wanted to address the court. Bonnell nodded no.
Hilary Bonnell disappeared in 2009
Bonnell has been in custody since November 2009.
Hilary’s disappearance from the Esgenoopetitj First Nation on Sept. 5, 2009 sparked an extensive search.
Her cousin, arrested two months later, was accused of holding her against her will, sexually assaulting her and killing her.
Evidence at the trial showed Curtis Bonnell had told police, his father and a Esgenoopetitj First Nation spiritual elder that he had killed her. But the defence maintained the confession was given to police under pressure
Two months later, Bonnell led police to a wooded area where he said he buried Hilary's body.
The jury gave its verdict on its second day of deliberations.