TORONTO — Graphic content warning: This story contains details readers may find disturbing.
A sentencing hearing for the 47-year-old Oshawa man who killed and dismembered two young women over a period of nearly 10 years has been adjourned until next month.
The two-day sentencing hearing was scheduled to begin today but due to the increasingly dire situation created by the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario, the sentencing hearing was adjourned until May 10.
In a decision following his judge-alone trial, Adam Strong was found guilty of first-degree murder last month in the death of 18-year-old Rori Hache and manslaughter in the death of 19-year-old Kandis Fitzpatrick.
Hache disappeared in 2017 and Fitzpatrick was last seen by her family in 2008.
In his decision, Ontario Superior Court Justice Joseph Di Luca said he was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Strong sexually assaulted and murdered Hache, who was believed to be pregnant at the time she was killed.
Strong was also charged with first-degree murder in the death of Fitzpatrick but Di Luca said there was insufficient evidence to prove that Strong intended to kill her, saying only that it was clear the accused “unlawfully caused her death.”
Hache was last seen on Aug. 30, 2017 and an investigation into her death was launched after her torso was discovered in the Oshawa Harbour weeks later.
The rest of Hache’s remains were found by plumbers who were trying to clear a clogged drain in Strong’s basement apartment more than three months later.
Officers who searched his apartment located the young woman’s severed head inside a garbage bag along with other body parts inside a freezer in Strong’s bedroom.
Di Luca said that the evidence presented at trial suggested Hache died after sustaining severe head injuries that were likely caused by Strong repeatedly hitting her in the head and face with a hard, blunt object, such as a hammer.
Di Luca noted that it is evident that Hache was also sexually assaulted around the time of her death as a significant amount of her blood was found on a “spreader bar,” which he described as a sex toy used for bondage-style activities. He said the blood suggests that Hache was being restrained by the BDSM device at the time she was killed.
Officers involved in the search of Strong’s apartment recovered a Wyoming Knife, often used by hunters to skin animals, in his kitchen. The knife had a tissue-like substance on it and it was later determined that the DNA on the knife belonged to Fitzpatrick.
While Strong pleaded not guilty to their murders, his lawyers conceded that their client did dismember the two women.
A first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the chance of parole for 25 years.
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