Sentencing hearing continues for man who pleaded guilty to murdering two children

The lawyer for a man who admitted to assaulting his girlfriend and killing her two young children says his client has taken responsibility for his actions.

A 31-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the children, pleaded guilty in Court of Queen’s Bench last month to two counts of second-degree murder, aggravated assault and breach of probation.

One of the girls was three and the other was just over six months old when they were stabbed to death and their mother was assaulted at an Edmonton apartment in December 2018.

The man automatically gets a life sentence, but the Crown has put forward a joint recommendation with the defence that he not be eligible to apply for parole for 17 years.

Edmonton father faces life in prison for murdering two little girls

Prosecutors say the sentence must send a strong message because the case involves the death of two children and the brutal assault of an intimate partner.

‘Irreparable harm’

Defence lawyer Gary Smith says his client’s guilty plea should be taken into consideration.

“To say this case is tragic is a huge understatement,” Smith told Justice John Henderson on Friday. “Irreparable harm has been caused.”

Smith noted that the Crown has said there is nothing the court can do to bring the children back.

“The fact that there was a guilty plea … is a huge one,” he said.

Smith also said there are factors related to his client’s Indigenous background that must be considered by the court.

A memorial for the two sisters outside the apartment building where their bodies were found. (Héloise Rodriguez-Qizilbash/Radio-Canada)

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