Stéphane Parent sentenced to life in prison for murdering girlfriend 20 years ago

A Calgary judge has sentenced a man who killed his girlfriend almost 20 years ago to life in prison.

Adrienne McColl was beaten and fatally strangled on Valentine’s Day 2002, her body left in a ditch alongside a rural road near Nanton, Alta.

The case went cold, but detectives revived the investigation. In 2018, Stéphane Parent was arrested in Quebec and charged with second-degree murder. 

During the trial, court heard that McColl and Parent, 12 years her senior, began dating in 2000 when she was 19 and they both worked at a southwest Calgary bar owned by the victim’s stepdad.

According to one witness, Parent had a history of attacking his girlfriend.

Court heard that by February 2002, both McColl and Parent were broke, but things were turning around for the young victim. She had a new job and was living with her stepfather.

Parent had recently become homeless and was living in his car.

Parent was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 17 years. (Mary Haasdyk)

Prosecutor Shane Parker argued during the trial that Parent was motivated by rage when he killed McColl.

After murdering her, Parent drove to the airport, booked a one-way ticket to Ottawa and did not return until his arrest.

Parent was found guilty last October following a three-week jury trial. 

Finding that there were no mitigating factors, Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Charlene Anderson sentenced Parent to life in prison with no parole eligibility for 17 years. 

“This case is heartbreaking and troubling,” she said. 

“She was killed at the hands of the person who ought to have protected her.”

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