Windsor

Killer Peter Dale MacDonald guilty of manslaughter

Convicted killer Peter Dale MacDonald pleaded guilty to manslaughter Thursday in the 2000 killing of Michelle Charette.

Killer was already serving a life sentence for second-degree murder

Convicted killer Peter Dale MacDonald pleaded guilty to manslaughter Thursday in the 2000 killing of Michelle Charet. (CBC News)

Convicted killer Peter Dale MacDonald pleaded guilty to manslaughter Thursday in the 2000 killing of Michelle Charette.

The 40-year-old woman was strangled. Her half naked body was found in a vacant lot off Drouillard Road near a Ford factory.

The plea came as a surprise. MacDonald was originally in court Thursday to see if he was fit to stand trial in the Charette case.

MacDonald, who is originally from Summerside, PEI, was sentenced Thursday to seven years in prison.

In court, the killer apologized to Charette's father.

"I'm glad that he's at where he's at, so he don't kill nobody else. I hope he's there for life," George Charette said outside court. "I appreciate him admitting it, but ... that doesn't bring Michelle back."

MacDonald, 53, is already in prison for the April 2000 murder of 63-year-old James Campbell and charged with three other killings in Toronto.

Campbell was found strangled in MacDonald's apartment in Toronto's Parkdale neighbourhood.

MacDonald was convicted of second-degree murder in the Campbell case and is currently serving a life sentence. The seven-year sentence imposed Thursday will be served concurrently.

MacDonald was also charged with killing Julie Ann Middleton, 23, Virginia Coote, 33, and Darlene MacNeill, 35, whose bodies were found in Lake Ontario in Toronto's west end between 1994 and 1997.

The three women all died under similar circumstances; sexually assaulted and strangled.

Those charges were later dropped.

The Crown withdrew the charges "because there is no longer any reasonable prospect of conviction," Brendan Crawley, a spokesman for the attorney general's office, wrote in an email to CBC News last year.